ST. PETERSBURG — The start to Thursday's region quarterfinal could not have gone any worse for Seminole.
The Warhawks were called for a penalty right outside the box in the second minute, and Northeast (10-3-3) took advantage when Richie Parrey latched onto the end of Kyle Apperson's free kick and headed it into goal for a 1-0 lead before most of the crowd had settled onto the aluminum bleachers.
Ten minutes later, though, Seminole's Shane Wixted blasted a shot from 25 yards away into the lower left corner of the goal to tie. Seconds later, Wixted scored again to give Seminole its first lead. Then the floodgates opened in a 7-1 Seminole rout.
The Warhawks (16-8-2) will try for the fifth time this season to beat East Lake when the teams meet Tuesday.
"We came out a little lackadaisical," Wixted said. "We can't let that happen on Tuesday night."
The first 12 minutes might have been nailbiting for Seminole, but for the rest of the game, the Warhawks settled into a style of play they are more accustomed to. They sent wave after wave of attackers at keeper Marino Pavacic, scoring five times before halftime.
"We've been working on runs in the offensive third," Seminole coach Rick Masi said. "We did that really well tonight. We had it working for us."
After Wixted put the Warhawks ahead for good in the 13th minute, Charles Lynch ran onto a long pass and buried a shot into the upper corner of the goal in the 21st. Jeff Arnoldy flicked a shot over a defender that dribbled past Pavacic for the Warhawks' fourth goal, and Lynch scored his second goal just before halftime on a header off Wixted's corner kick.
After halftime, Dalton Schomp connected from 30 yards out and Garrett Bocon scored in the closing seconds to bring the winning margin to six.