TARPON SPRINGS — East Lake coach Sergei Stopek gave his players plenty of rest this week in preparation for its Class 5A region matchup with Pinellas Park. His philosophy paid off as the Eagles dominated every facet of the game in a 5-0 victory on Thursday night.
The Eagles offense scored three goals in the first half and put the Patriots in a deep hole. Senior Javon Bostic scored back-to-back goals to open the scoring. Both goals were headers off of corner kicks.
"We spend hours practicing (corner kicks)" Bostic said. "It's just like second nature. Everybody made their runs perfectly and a perfect ball was served in."
Junior Brett Hummel added the Eagles' third goal.
Throughout the second half, East Lake continued dismantling Pinellas Park, which took the field without one of its top players, suspended midfielder Matt Gaskin.
Eagles senior Nicholas Patterson scored on a worn-down Patriots defense in the 60th minute, and Hummel capped the night with his second goal of the contest.
"This is our third year getting here. … We've always had depth, but I think our character is much better," Stopek said. "I think we have a very good work ethic and our team chemistry is outstanding."
East Lake will play Seminole, a 7-1 winner over Northeast, in a region semifinal on Tuesday. The Warhawks have beaten the Eagles four times this season.