Seminole leans on Lawrence for win
VENICE — Seminole junior Megan Lawrence had been battling a fever all week, but neither the illness nor Venice's defense could keep her from leading the Warhawks to a 2-1 region quarterfinal victory in overtime Thursday.
"I wanted to get the game over so bad," Lawrence said. "Our team wants this so bad."
As the game started Venice battled for every 50/50 ball and peppered goalkeeper Casey Merson with shots. Venice forward Dana LaRocque missed just wide to each side of the net as the teams ended the first scoreless.
"She (Merson) made key saves all night," Seminole coach Steve Kuplicki said. "Those are something we can count on."
Lawrence finally was able to put a dent in the scoreboard in the 48th minute. Noel Forsman took an inbounds pass and dropped it into the corner for Sierra Lelii, who sent a perfect cross for Lawrence to head past Venice keeper Ashley Weaver.
Ten minutes later Venice evened the score when LaRocque finally found the back of net, outrunning the Seminole defense and dropping a header just past Merson.
As overtime started Seminole took control but couldn't put away the feisty Indians until Lawrence took over. She stole the ball inside the penalty area and beat Weaver.
"This is our year to make it to state," Lawrence said. "We'll be pumped to play on our home field and the whole school will be there."
Nathan Cowan, Times correspondent