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6A-7 girls soccer: Palm Harbor U., Countryside to meet in final

PALM HARBOR — It took 22 minutes for the first Palm Harbor University goal.

It took 28 for the next seven.

"Once we got going," said sophomore Paige Lombard, they couldn't be stopped.

The Hurricanes rolled into tonight's Class 6A-7 final with a resounding 8-0 triumph over St. Petersburg on Thursday as the reigning Class 5A state champ remained unbeaten.

Senior forward Catherine Brinkman scored her 35th, 36th and 37th goals of the season, leaving after finishing off her hat trick to make it 6-0 only three minutes into the second half. Her replacement, freshman Skye Barba, promptly netted the next two goals to bring a halt to the game.

Kelly Phipps also had a pair of goals as the Hurricanes stretched their unbeaten streak to 25 matches dating to last season.

Lombard was particularly effective, beating Green Devil defenders to balls and finding her teammates for easy goals. She assisted on the first four scores, three on nice crosses in the box.

She left the game with Brinkman after barely missing on a goal for herself.

"Unfortunately," she said, laughing, "but assists are okay. I'm happy as long as I can help."

Countryside prevails

CLEARWATER — Corner kick after corner kick, Countryside freshman Riley Narum was perfectly hooking the ball in front of the North Port net, but couldn't get a positive result.

Then, with 23 minutes remaining, senior Thea Linkfield headed one of those corner kicks into the net, giving the Cougars a 1-0 victory over the Bobcats.

Narum said "it's really frustrating" when execution between teammates does not produce a goal, but she watched as Linkfield went up for the header and had a feeling this shot would work.

For Linkfield the goal was her 33rd of the season. Keeper Kim Cohn picked up the shutout.

Earlier in the season the Cougars (14-3-0) blanked the Bobcats (9-7-2) 5-0. This time around North Port was much tougher. Narum said the last meeting was in frigid conditions. Though this latest meeting was in the rain, she said the Bobcats came to play.

North Port goalkeeper Sierra Jennings had five saves and got some extra help in the second half. Countryside shooters hit the goal post three times.

Doug Kates, Times correspondent

6A-7 girls soccer: Palm Harbor U., Countryside to meet in final 01/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 11:28pm]
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