PLANT CITY — Sixth-year Durant coach Jamin Hollingsworth, who promised to grow a mustache if the Cougars won a district title, is sporting a bit more stubble today.
After Thursday's breathtaking triumph, it's a bit grayer as well.
The No. 2-seeded Cougars (12-6-2) spotted Riverview two first-half goals before rallying for a 3-2 overtime triumph in the Class 5A, District 8 tournament semifinals. Durant faces No. 4-seeded Newsome for the title tonight at 7 at Plant City High.
Left-footed sophomore Josh Mansilla's right-footed goal from roughly 20 yards in the waning moments of the first OT period clinched a playoff spot for the Cougars. Mansilla also executed the corner kick David Eisenhauer tapped in from 6 yards to tie the score in the 77th minute.
"(The Sharks) already knew I was left-footed," said Mansilla, whose shot nailed the upper right corner of the net. "So I cut to the right, cut the defender off and saw the goalie on the left side and took it to the right."
That eleventh-hour rally stood in stark contrast to the first 40 minutes. The Sharks struck first on Caleb Dossantos' goal off an Eric Ortiz throw-in in the 10th minute, and made it 2-0 on Bryan Engle's goal in the 37th.
In the nightcap, Newsome senior Skylar Wilks' left-footed goal from 23 yards at the top of the penalty box lifted the Wolves to a 1-0 upset of top-seeded Plant City (13-0-1).
The Wolves defeated the Raiders in last season's district final, and again in double overtime in the region semifinals.
"As soon as it left (Wilks') foot I knew it was going in, so I was already standing up," Newsome coach Neal Rickmers said. "He created the space and got a great pass … and away he went."