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4A soccer semifinal: Hudson's stellar season comes to close

HUDSON — The best season in Hudson history came to a close Tuesday night with a loss in the Class 4A region semifinals.

The Cobras fell at home to Eustis 2-1 in a contest decided by one late-game penalty.

Hudson (21-3-1) was late to the ball and played sluggishly the majority of the game. The first half was reminiscent of the opening period of the Cobras' opening-round win over Bishop Moore. Panthers forward Tana Hardin scored on a pass from Ashley Stiefeld to go up 1-0 early.

The similarities between the first playoff game for the Cobras and their second continued after halftime. Down at the intermission, Hudson faced an uphill climb yet again, but this time came up short.

"The girls came ready to play tonight," Hudson coach Chris Rizzieri said. "One of the teams had to lose though, and it is very disappointing that it had to be us."

The home team tied the score less than 10 minutes into the second half. On only the second corner kick of the game for Hudson, forward Michelle Lang made a brilliant pass to forward Ashley Trappuzzano, who headed in the ball.

Hudson keeper Jessie Imbimbo, backed by a terrific defensive effort, played well in net again for the Cobras. After arguably providing an MVP performance in the first-round victory, Imbimbo made nine saves against Eustis to keep her team in it.

"(Hudson) was excellent on defense," Eustis coach Wayne Lockett said. "They caused us to lose our composure on a few occasions, and they didn't get flustered much at all."

In the end, Eustis (20-4-1) proved to be too much for the local power.

On one of the Panthers' many attacks in the Hudson zone, Cobras defender Katy McGee committed a handball violation in the crease, giving Eustis a penalty kick. Forward Alika Keene snuck the ball past Imbimbo to give her team the 2-1 advantage.

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4A soccer semifinal: Hudson's stellar season comes to close 02/03/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 12:35am]
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