Thursday, March 22, 2018
Prep Soccer

Boys soccer: Sunlake, River Ridge cruise, advance to district championship

NEW PORT RICHEY — For the fourth consecutive season, Sunlake and River Ridge will meet in a boys soccer district championship match.

Sunlake and River Ridge took care of business in the Class 3A, District 8 semifinals, as the Seahawks defeated Land O’Lakes 3-1 and the Royal Knights cruised past Gulf 5-0 Wednesday night. The Seahawks will meet the Royal Knights on Friday night for the 3A-8 crown, and both teams are certainly no stranger to each other when it comes to districts.

Since the 2014-15 campaign, the Seahawks and Royal Knights have made it an annual meeting in the district title game and Sunlake has come out on top each time by a goal.

"I expect another close game against (Sunlake)," River Ridge coach Michael McHugh said. "It’s a good rivalry between us. Always a fun game . It always has been and always will be a measuring-stick game for us. We are hoping things go a little differently for us this year."

Sunlake (23-2) was able to defeat its neighboring rival, Land O’Lakes, in the first of the two semifinal matchups.

River Ridge (17-4) easily won in the nightcap against Gulf, securing four first-half goals en route to advancing. The Royal Knights had notable goals scored by Johnny Bomhardt, who also added four assists, and Joseph Moss.

"(Gulf) always plays us tough," McHugh added. "We found the gaps we were hoping to exploit."