PALM HARBOR — Two overtime periods were unable to produce a score in Thursday's Class 6A region quarterfinal game between Bloomingdale and Palm Harbor University.
So the outcome had to be decided on penalty kicks.
Both teams had five players set the ball up 12 yards from goal. Heading into the fifth and final player for that round, the score was tied 3-all.
The Hurricanes' Robert Sennabaum was up first. His shot eluded Bulls goalkeeper Austin Spagnola. Bloomingdale still had a chance, but its kick sailed inconsolably high.
That was the difference as Palm Harbor University won 1-0 victory, 4-3 on penalty kicks.
Afterward, the Hurricanes rushed from midfield and the sideline to pile on their goalkeeper Joshua Paul, whose instincts and reactions during penalty kicks were key.
"We're happy with how the game turned out, but we still have a lot of work to do," Palm Harbor University coach Alex Delgado said.
"Bloomingdale played excellent. They had us frustrated from the beginning until the last whistle."
Playing rugged and unyielding defense, the Bulls thwarted most of the Hurricanes' opportunities on offense in regulation and in overtime.
Palm Harbor University was more aggressive in the final minutes of regulation in hopes of breaking the tie but could never punch anything in.
"We just couldn't find the net," Delgado said.
And whenever the Hurricanes had opportunities, Spagnola was there to smother the ball.
"This is the best game we played all season," Bloomingdale coach Troy Smith said. "We did everything we were supposed to do to stay in the game, and we matched Palm Harbor all night.
"This is a great building block for us."
Bob Putnam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org