Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Boys soccer: A hollow win for Countryside over PHU in Hurricane Watch final

PALM HARBOR — The Hurricane Watch final had all the makings of a classic with Palm Harbor U. and Countryside meeting for the third time this season.

But having already lost twice this season to the Cougars and with little at stake, Hurricanes coach Alex Delgado rested his starters while investing the time in seeing who could provide firepower from the bench.

As it turned out, Delgado might have found more than he imagined. Facing a squad ranked No. 43 in the ESPN Rise FAB 50 national poll, the youth-infused Hurricanes held the Cougars to just one goal in the 1-0 defeat.

"Countryside's easily one of the best teams in the state, if not the nation," Delgado said. "We wanted to let other guys get some action so we can figure out who could provide some help come district (playoffs). We also wanted to let the starters see the game from a different perspective.

"Hopefully, the next time we face them, the (starters) will have learned some things."

Countryside's goal came midway through the first half. Senior midfielder Jagger Martinez gathered a pass just past midfield, spun the ball around with his right foot, pushed it toward the penalty box and rifled a low liner with his left foot past Josh Preisig.

The Cougars (18-1-1) had several other chances but could not put any of their other 15 shots past Preisig, who finished with eight saves for PHU (15-3-3).

"We came out slow because of who was on the other side of the field," Martinez said. "We took them for granted, and they showed us some things. We got big-headed and were too busy glory-hunting."

Countryside coach David Sica knows his team is far from reaching the level of his 2006 state title team that finished 28-4.

"They continue to ask me after every game if they're better than that team, and I continue telling them no," Sica said. "They think they can show up and beat teams. But they have another thing coming if they continue having that mind-set.

"I don't want to take anything away from Palm Harbor because they played amazingly well. But they have to play with something to prove no matter who's on the other side. That team back then pulverized opponents when they had the opportunity. They need to learn they're stronger together than they are alone."

Boys soccer: A hollow win for Countryside over PHU in Hurricane Watch final 01/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 12:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.