Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

6A region soccer: Countryside 2, Winter Garden West Orange 1

CLEARWATER — Countryside goalkeeper Danny George could think of just one thing Friday when the head referee held up one finger in the Class 6A region semifinal against Winter Garden West Orange.

"This is going to be the longest minute I've ever had to experience," George said.

With the Cougars clinging to a 2-1 lead, George was correct as the Warriors sent every player forward, including keeper Juan Fajardo. George was peppered with one shot after another — five in the final minute — until at last the final whistle sounded, setting off a wild celebration by fans and players at midfield.

"I just didn't want anything like the Plant game to happen again," George said in reference to last season's heartbreaker in which Countryside allowed Plant to score in the final minute of regulation then in overtime in a 2-1 defeat in the region semifinals. "We've worked so hard to get back to this point and beyond, I don't think I could have taken it if the same thing happened again."

The Cougars (23-1-1), No. 9 in the ESPN Rise poll, got off to a slow start then broke through early in the second half when Taylor Cook found Nikolai Hammer open at the top of the goalmouth and Hammer easily put it past Fajardo.

Countryside's next goal with eight minutes to play typified the way the Cougars have played all season as Dalton Martinez received a pass from his brother, Jagger, and took the ball into the corner, where he chipped a cross over to the middle part of the penalty box. Derya Ekren, with his back to the goal, did a mini-bicycle kick sending the ball into the left corner of the goal.

The Warriors (13-2-1) made the game interesting 25 seconds later when Evan Cartwright put in a header off a cross on a corner kick by Camillo Villa.

"It's been tough because we've had the talent but for whatever reason, we haven't been able to capitalize on it," Countryside coach Dave Sica said. "We've faced adversity throughout the year and from season to season, but when this group decides to work, they're capable of achieving big things."

6A region soccer: Countryside 2, Winter Garden West Orange 1 02/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 12, 2011 12:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Just when RHP Jake Odorizzi thought he was trending in the right direction after pitching out of the stretch during his previous start, he has another tough outing. He retired only 12 batters, which is never good, especially with LHP Blake Snell pitching tonight against the Orioles.

  2. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Monday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Florida; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  3. Gruesome details of Rangers' sweep of Rays

    The Heater

    Lost weekend

    How the Rays managed to blow two-run leads late in three straight losses to the Rangers:

    FRIDAY

  4. Yes, again: Rays blow late two-run lead, get swept by Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As weekends go, this was a bad one for the Rays. In a word: brutal.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, foreground, reacts after giving up a home run to Texas Rangers' Carlos Gomez during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 23, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) FLMC116
  5. As training camp looms, Jameis Winston starts throwing

    Blogs

    The start of Bucs training camp is mere days away -- rookies report Tuesday, veterans on Thursday, with the first practice Friday morning -- and quarterback Jameis Winston wrapped up his offseason by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch (video …

    Bucs QB Jameis Winston throws the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday's Rays-Rangers game at Tropicana Field. The Bucs report to training camp this coming week, with the first practice set for Friday morning.