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 state boys soccer: Melbourne dashes Seminole's title dreams in second half

Charles Lynch’s body language tells the tale after Melbourne wraps up its second straight state crown, this time in Class 5A.


Charles Lynch’s body language tells the tale after Melbourne wraps up its second straight state crown, this time in Class 5A.

TAMPA — As the scoreboard clock at the University of Tampa's Pepin Stadium wound to zero, Seminole sophomore defender Tyler Zulewski pulled the front of his jersey over his face, covering his eyes.

For Seminole supporters in the crowd, Zulewski's reaction to the Warhawks' 4-1 loss to Melbourne in the Class 5A state championship would have been an appropriate way to watch the second half. Four second-half goals from the defending Class 6A state champions outdid a near-flawless first-half performance from Seminole to thwart the Warhawks' bid for a third state title, first in 5A.

"You can always play that second half over again," Seminole senior Brian Tyler said "You could probably do that the rest of your life."

For 40 minutes, Seminole had positioned itself at the top of the 5A heap. A nightmarish second half, however, erased what had been a dream performance.

"I think the boys had an incredible journey," Seminole coach Rick Masi said. "We don't like the result as it is. I've been on both sides of the coin."

Seminole's Shane Wixted grabbed the game's first goal in the 27th minute on a play set up by a Sean Rafferty free kick. Rafferty sent a bending ball into the box, Charles Lynch found the ball at his feet and sent a shot toward goal, but couldn't get much on it amid a host of defenders. The ball pinballed to Wixted, who pushed a shot off a Melbourne defender's leg and through another set of legs into the corner of the goal.

"The ball came to me, and I just trapped it," said Wixted, who also scored Seminole's lone goal in the semis. "Just hit it, and it went in the back of the net."

Seminole (18-9-2) carried the momentum from Wixted's goal through the first half, possessing the ball against the favored Bulldogs (23-1-2) and keeping Melbourne from creating any scoring opportunities. The Warhawks' advantage, though, came to a screeching halt almost the second the referee whistled the start of the second half.

Melbourne immediately moved the ball into the Seminole box, pressuring goalkeeper Ryan Downey. In the 42nd minute, a fortuitous bounce in the box rolled right into the path of Melbourne's Ryan Price, who clinically finished the scoring chance to draw the Bulldogs even.

Three minutes later, Price scored again. Melbourne made it 3-1 in the 58th minute when Trey Collins converted a two-on-none break. Price registered a hat trick in the 67th for the 4-1 final.

"If you asked me two months ago if we would be here, the odds in Vegas would have said, 'Anything you want to lay, baby. We'll take it,' " Masi said. "…(Melbourne's) a tremendous team. There's no disgrace losing to that team."

On the Web

For photo galleries from Seminole's state final and semifinal, go to

5A state boys soccer: Melbourne dashes Seminole's title dreams in second half 02/20/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 20, 2010 11:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.