5A-11 girls soccer: Seminole on path toward state title goal

SEMINOLE — Seminole checked another goal off its list Friday after picking up the 5A-11 title with a 3-1 victory over East Lake.

"Our goal is to win state," said Warhawks forward Sierra Lelii, who scored twice. "We need to focus on the steps of getting there, and this is one of them."

Seminole jumped on East Lake from the opening whistle. In the first minute Lelii missed a shot over the crossbar and East Lake's Lauren Polito cleared a shot that looked to cross the goal line.

The Warhawks finally made one of their shots count in the 20th minute when Lelii took a pass from Rachel Jones at the top of the penalty area and rifled it past the goalkeeper.

"(Lelii's) a special player and stepped it up," Warhawks coach Steve Kuplicki said. "She takes the ball and turns and people just back off."

The Eagles tied it 10 minutes later when Tatiana Perez took a crossing pass from Amanda Byrne and headed the ball into the goal.

Seminole retook the lead in the second half as Lelii took a pass from Caitlin Chapman at the top of the box and again beat the goalkeeper with a hard shot.

"When they scored that goal we played 10 times harder," Lelii said. "We kept pressuring them and pressuring them and didn't let them get up."

The Eagles had some chances late in the half but couldn't capitalize as Perez and Caitlyn Lopez missed shots over the crossbar.

"The girls did the stuff we talked about in the locker room," Kuplicki said. "They were driven to get the reward of a district championship.

"Homefield advantage was a goal of ours. The students, boys soccer team and parents really support us."

Seminole put the game away as Alyssa McHenry found herself in the right place at the right time to score off a corner kick.

"They were a tough team and took care of business," East Lake coach John Orr said. "We hope to stay healthy, get no cards and beat them in the next round."

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5A-11 girls soccer: Seminole on path toward state title goal 01/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 11:34pm]

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