EAST LAKE — What's that saying, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again?
For Seminole, it was try, try, try, try again, at least when the East Lake Eagles were the opponent.
Four times this season, the Warhawks came up empty against East Lake, save for a come-from-behind, 3-3 tie in an early-season tournament after the Eagles had pulled most of their starters.
The fifth time, apparently, was the charm for Seminole.
Playing a nearly flawless game from the opening whistle, Seminole stunned East Lake by scoring in the game's seventh minute, then built an insurmountable lead by ringing the back of the net two more times in the first half in a shocking 4-0 upset victory of the Eagles.
"This is the game we've been waiting for all year," Charles Lynch said. "We played them so many times; it's been really hard for us. They've beaten us the past three times. I just wanted to get it. This was ours, and we knew it before we started the game."
Lynch was the catalyst behind Seminole's offensive explosion, using his breakaway speed to confound the Eagles (18-2-2), although his first goal— the Warhawks' opening score— was pure muscle as he rose above the crowd to power a header off a rebound past East Lake goalkeeper Jason Richmond.
Ten minutes later, Lynch and East Lake defender J.J. Bostic were in a footrace to a long pass toward the Eagles' goal. Lynch won the race, then collected himself to shoot past Richmond for a 2-0 lead.
With 13 minutes remaining in the first half, Lynch again tracked down a long pass before Richmond, well out of his goal, could beat him to it. Lynch's shot toward the open net was knocked away by the hand of Eagles defender Brian Gonzalez, who was red-carded. Shane Wixted buried the penalty kick for the Warhawks' third goal.
"It just felt like we started coming unglued, and there was no reason for it," East Lake coach Sergei Stopek said. "And it was frustrating because I wanted that half to get there to stop the bleeding, but it couldn't get there fast enough."
Down a man, East Lake pressured Seminole (17-8-2) after halftime but was turned away each time. The Warhawks' final goal came in the closing seconds when Sean Rafferty converted another penalty kick.