PINELLAS PARK — Seminole and Pinellas Park's region quarterfinal Thursday featured everything you expect in playoff soccer: physical play, outstanding offense, breathtaking defense.
In the end, the Warhawks outlasted the Patriots 4-3 on penalty kicks to take a 3-2 victory.
"Everyone who came here got their money's worth," Seminole coach Rick Masi said. "It's a shame that someone had to lose."
Pinellas Park took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute as Matt Olver forced a turnover and found Blake Andrews for the goal.
The Warhawks tied the game five minutes later as Ian Cerf blasted the ball past the goalkeeper after a great corner kick from Kevin Nota.
Both teams had numerous scoring chances throughout the first half but Patriots keeper Zack DiTommuso and Warhawks keeper Kenneth Matthews were up to the task.
In the second half the Patriots' Blake and Brandon Andrews put pressure on the Warhawks' defense, but Tyler Zulewski and his teammates were ready for the challenge.
"Tyler played a solid match," Masi said. "He is confident back there. He is my first junior captain."
Seminole went up 2-1 when Ben Seltzer received a long throw-in from Gerard Corning and headed it past the goalkeeper.
The game looked like it would end that way as Matthews made two amazing saves.
Pinellas Park tied the game in second-half stoppage time. Matt Gaskins made a quick throw-in and during the scrum in front of the goal, Blake Andrews tied the game with his second goal.
In overtime both goalkeepers again kept the game tied until the penalty kicks.
Each team's first shooter made his shot. The teams were tied at 3 after trading misses. After Seminole took a 4-3 lead, the Patriots' final shooter hit the post.
"This loss is hard because we played our hearts out," Patriots coach Chip Bruce said. "We're on the right track and no one can over look us."