PINELLAS PARK — East Lake wanted to make sure it didn't look past Pinellas Park. Behind two goals from Madison Del Duca and three assists from Delaney Lester, the Eagles advanced to the region semifinals Thursday with a 5-0 victory.
"We challenged the girls to come out strong and not look past Pinellas Park," Eagles assistant coach Charley Ferro said. "We wanted to earn the rematch (against Seminole)."
East Lake wasted no time getting as Lester threaded a pass to Del Duca for her first goal in the third minute.
The Patriots (8-7-1) battled back but weren't able to even the score as Katie Simpson's shot sailed wide.
The Eagles, who fired 11 shots on goal in the first half, continued to come up short on scoring chances. Kristy Legoas hit the post and fired a shot that was saved by goalkeeper Kayla Steacy. Two shots by Kim Stolz were also stopped by Steacy.
East Lake (13-5-2) got its second goal in the 20th minute as Lester took a long throw-in and beat the keeper. Just before halftime Legoas controlled a rebound off the post to put the Eagles up 3-0.
"We played a little different lineup," Ferro said. "We wanted to make sure we were strong in the midfield."
The Eagles picked up where they left off to start the second half as Del Duca and Lester hooked up in the 46th minute to go up 4-0. After Steacy blocked an East Lake penalty kick, Anna Edwards closed the scoring.
"We changed this team from perennial losers to district champions," Patriots coach Patrick Doheny said. "We know we have to build on this."