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 semifinal: Determined Seminole controls tempo

BRADENTON — Seminole coach Rick Masi fretted about his team's long-term playoff chances after a lackluster win in the region quarterfinals.

The Warhawks' performance Tuesday on the road against Lakewood Ranch, though, was enough to put a smile on the veteran coach's face to last the entire bus ride back to Pinellas County.

Seminole attacked from the outset. The Warhawks controlled possession. They created scoring opportunities. They denied the Mustangs any semblance of an offensive push.

And after surviving a few tenuous moments in the waning minutes, Seminole closed out its region semifinal 2-1 to advance to their sixth region final in school history and first since 2004.

"From top to bottom, I couldn't ask for more effort from the team," Masi said.

Five minutes into the first half, Seminole's aggressive start was rewarded when senior forward Maurice Lelii fought off a defender in the box and shot past goalkeeper Kyle Medvetz (eight saves).

With 17:30 to go before the break, a Shane Wixted free kick wasn't cleared from the Mustangs' goal area. Sean Rafferty picked up the loose ball and placed a shot past Medvetz to put the Warhawks ahead 2-0 going into halftime.

"Honestly, I think that first half was the best half we've ever played together in the four years that I've been here," Lelii said.

Seminole (17-8-3) had a couple scoring opportunities in the second half but came up empty. Lakewood Ranch (16-4-4) got back in the game when defender Leander White snuck a shot past Seminole goalkeeper Ryan Downey (three saves) from in close with 10:30 left.

Lakewood Ranch pushed forward over the final 10 minutes in search of the tying goal, but Seminole's defense denied the Mustangs.

"I think that was probably the most physical game we've played yet," Wixted said. "But I thought we all kept our cool pretty well. We just kept moving the ball so they couldn't hit us as much as they wanted to."

Lakewood Ranch1

5A semifinal: Determined Seminole controls tempo 02/11/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 12:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Gordon Hayward's message to Celtics from hospital bed after gruesome injury


    BOSTON — Gordon Hayward's face was etched in pain and shock.

    Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics sits on the floor after being injured while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on October 17, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. [Gregory Shamus | Getty Images]
  2. Rick and Tom podcast: Where does Winston rank among top QBs?


    Where does Bucs QB Jameis Winston rank among current NFL QBs this year? The result might shock you. Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down a new poll by Sports Illustrated in their latest podcast.

    Where does Jameis Winston rank among the NFL's top quarterbacks?
  3. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday


    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  4. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  5. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.