CLEARWATER — Countryside was intent on winning the Class 6A-7 district title and accomplished that feat by posting its 16th shutout of the season, defeating second-seeded Sarasota Riverview 1-0 Friday.
Both teams struggled to achieve any momentum in the first half, with the Rams getting the best scoring opportunity.
"(Riverview) had a shot that went off of the post and it could've easily have been one-nothing them," Cougars coach Dave Sica said. "We fell into their style of play and they did an excellent job of executing it."
Feeling the pressure, Sica demanded more from his players and they responded.
The Cougars made an outstanding push in the 53rd minute when Dalton Martinez angled a cross pass to his brother, Jagger, who fired a shot for the deciding goal.
"When the ball came across I just finished my opportunity," Jagger Martinez said. "It was a well-developed play and I was just lucky enough to finish it."
Riverview had a great look in the 61st minute when Alex Zidani took a free kick from 30 yards out, but Hunter Maricle was there for the save.
"We have to work as a team in order to accomplish our goals and we did that in the second half," said Sica. "We did enough to get the job done and we've got to do more of it if we expect to go any farther."