Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

5A-11 boys soccer: East Lake fends off a tough Seminole

CLEARWATER — Having just wrapped up its second district title in three seasons, the East Lake Eagles had one more goal Friday night:

Dousing coach Sergei Stopek with the customary Gatorade shower.

Stopek, however, had other plans, moving out of the way at the last possible second as the bucket and its contents spilled harmlessly to the ground.

"I saw them coming out of the corner of my eye and spun out of the way," said Stopek, while demonstrating his slick evasion tactics.

It was about the only chance the Eagles missed all night.

East Lake managed only five shots on goal but made three of them count to defeat Seminole 3-2 in a 5A-11 district final featuring two teams playing high quality soccer with regionals looming next week.

"It was a battle," Stopek said. "Two teams that were extremely focused. Honestly, the game could have gone either way."

The Eagles' Anthony Giordano made sure the outcome would favor East Lake (17-1-2).

After watching Seminole (15-8-2) equalize on Sean Rafferty's goal in traffic off a throw in with 6:30 remaining in the game, Giordano answered by flicking Brent Merrick's corner kick into goal with the side of his heel for the winner just two minutes later.

"After (Seminole) got that second goal, we didn't give up," Giordano said. "We kept fighting."

In the 66th minute, Giordano struggled to control a pass deep in the box but was able to settle the ball and rip a shot past Seminole goalkeeper Ryan Downey to put East Lake up 2-1.

Seminole's Shane Wixted blasted a perfectly-struck free kick into goal from the edge of the box to get the Warhawks on the scoreboard seven minutes into the second half.

East Lake held a 1-0 halftime advantage after Nicholas Patterson chipped a shot over Downey in the 20th minute with a defender digging at his right hip.

Should both teams win their region openers on Thursday, they'll meet for the fifth time Feb. 9 with the season on the line.

"They found a way to finish," Seminole coach Rick Masi said. "More power to them. I hope we get them again."

East Lake3
Seminole 2

5A-11 boys soccer: East Lake fends off a tough Seminole 01/29/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 10:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots


    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings


    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham


    The Rays open their final roadtrip of the season tonight in Baltimore, and - continuing the theme of the week - willl cross paths with another familiar face, INF Tim Beckham.

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue


    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  5. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)