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5A region soccer: Newsome 6, Springstead 0

LITHIA — The disparity in playoff pedigree between Newsome and Springstead could not have been more dramatic entering Tuesday's Class 5A region semifinal.

Newsome has made the playoffs every season of its eight-year existence and has never failed to win at least two postseason matches.

Springstead, on the other hand, won its first playoff game in school history Thursday after a penalty-kick shootout win over Plant City, a team Newsome defeated 8-0 in a mercy rule-shortened district final.

The action on the field Tuesday reflected the difference in the status of the programs.

Newsome, the No. 4 ranked team in the nation by ESPN Rise, scored four times in the first half and limited Springstead to three shots on goal in a 6-0 runaway victory.

The Wolves (23-0) have not allowed a goal since a 5-1 victory over St. Petersburg at the Sarasota Holiday Classic, a string of nine games without being scored on. On Friday, they will face George Jenkins, which defeated Newsome 4-2 in the region final a year ago.

"We worked all year for Friday's game. We weren't going to let anything stand in the way of that," Newsome coach Kelly Townsend said. "(Springstead was) definitely better than any team we've played in the last couple of weeks."

Newsome showed throughout the match it wasn't taking the Eagles lightly. The Wolves scored in the game's third minute when Karina Gutsche collected the ball on the left wing, dribbled into the box and slipped a shot past Springstead goalkeeper Emma Betters (five saves).

Springstead (11-6-2) had its best chance to score immediately after Gutsche's goal, advancing the ball into the box before a last-second tackle from behind thwarted the opportunity.

"If we score the first breakaway, then probably they would beat us, but it would be closer," Springstead coach Polo Furlong said.

Shea Rhoney made it 2-0 in the ninth minute after her shot from close range took a deflection and redirected into goal. A giveaway at midfield produced a two-on-none break for Newsome's third goal, which Liz Haumschild easily slotted past Betters.

Rhoney's goal two minutes later gave the Wolves a 4-0 advantage at halftime.

"They have a lot of speed on the sides and the defense," Furlong said. "The coach is pretty good. She knows how to use it."

Springstead had one shot on goal in the second half, that coming on Kimberly Smith's bending shot from 30 yards away that clanged off the crossbar.

"Newsome's pretty good. They're a very good team," Furlong said. "I wish them the best. I hope they win states."

5A region soccer: Newsome 6, Springstead 0 02/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 10:43pm]
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