Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

5A region soccer: Seminole 3, Gaither 0

SEMINOLE — Sierra Lelii had three Gaither players standing around her, but Gina Hayduke knew if she passed the ball in her teammate's direction, magic might happen.

So she sent the ball through, and sure enough, Lelii got to it first, dribbled down the left side, and just as one of the Gaither defenders caught up, magic happened.

Lelii struck the ball with her left foot, bending an impossible-to-stop shot to the far post to put Seminole on the board.

And into the state semifinals again.

Seminole scored two more times to beat the Cowboys 3-0 in the region championship Friday night.

The Warhawks (22-2-2) will play Newsome, ranked No. 4 nationally by ESPN Rise, in Friday's Class 5A state semifinal in Tampa at Pepin Stadium.

"It's great, and I'm so happy to be going back," said Lelii, who missed most of the second half of last year's 2-1 overtime state final loss to Melbourne with a red card.

"I think we have some unfinished business there."

Lelii's goal in the 22nd minute made it 1-0. She sprinted past the Gaither defenders to get the ball and looked to be headed in for a 1-on-1 opportunity, but was stuck wide as the Cowboys recovered.

"I was going forward and looked to see if Jordyn (Turner) was there to cross it to," Lelii said. "I didn't have a great angle. I just tried for the upper right 90."

In the 68th minute, Hayduke hit a set piece to the near post, and Gaither keeper Amanda High appeared to stop it, but the ball got free and Melanie Benner centered it quickly to Tara Belvin for a 2-0 lead.

Hayduke added a penalty kick with nine minutes left to complete the victory over Gaither, which finished 12-6-2 and failed to muster much of an attack against Seminole's defensive line of Belvin, Sidney Wendel and Alicia Tyler.

"It's a sweet victory," Belvin said. "We wanted all year to get back to state, and maybe now we can do this year what we didn't last year."

. Up next

State soccer

Pepin Stadium, University of Tampa

5A: Newsome vs. Seminole, 12:45 Friday

3A: St. Petersburg Catholic vs. Lake Highland Prep, 12:45 Thursday

5A region soccer: Seminole 3, Gaither 0 02/04/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 5, 2011 12:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Clemson reunion for Bucs' Adam Humphries, Vikings' Mackensie Alexander


    Bucs receiver Adam Humphries will have a familiar face lining up against him Sunday when he's in the slot and the Vikings have Mackensie Alexander guarding him as their nickel defensive back.

    Bucs wide receiver Adam Humphries (10) makes a reception before being tackled by Chicago Bears defensive back Marcus Cooper (31) Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs, trying to get even with Joe Maddon


    After a tough 2-1 loss on Tuesday, the Rays take on the Cubs again tonight, looking to split the two-game series with former manager Joe Maddon.

    The Rays are starting young lefty Blake Snell.
  3. Whatever USF has to say about Temple waits till Thursday


    "The holes were wide open. Anyone could have run through them."

    South Florida Bulls cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) intercepts a pass during the second half of the home opener for the South Florida Bulls against the Stony Brook Seawolves at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  4. Five reasons why Kentucky can beat Florida for the first time since 1986


    By Matt Baker

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 30-game winning streak over Kentucky is one of the most impressive feats in the country.

    Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) celebrates Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson's  (24) touch down in the first quarter, putting Florida on the board 6-0 during the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times

  5. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings


    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]