TAMPA — Jesuit and Gaither posted shutouts Saturday in the opening round of the 17th annual High School Soccer Invitational.
No games are scheduled for today, but the tournament continues Monday through Wednesday at the Shimberg Sports Complex.
Jesuit defeated defending Class 4A state champion Mitchell 4-0, and Gaither scored a 3-0 win over Jacksonville Stanton, the team Mitchell downed in last season's state title game.
"Oscar, I'm just trying to follow up on what you guys did last year," Jesuit coach Bob Bauman told Mitchell coach Oscar Ubillus.
The Mustangs (8-6-1) lost 17 seniors from that state championship squad, and the Tigers have a senior-laden team now.
"We're in that boat," Bauman said. "We have 15 seniors, so we need to get it done this year."
Jesuit (11-2) put the game away with two goals about a minute apart in the second half. Joel Gutierrez scored on a penalty kick in the 47th minute, and Kyle Bellini converted on a cross from Christopher Conlon soon after.
Alexander Rados dribbled in from the left side to beat goalkeeper Brian Hoxie for Jesuit's first goal before team scoring leader Brett Durrance netted his 18th goal off a feed from Joseph Metzger in support of Patrick Danner's shutout.
Gaither (10-0-1) kept its unbeaten streak intact, getting second-half goals from Jordan See and Alex Giraldo, the latter off a cross from Steffan Siebel-Cortopassi.
"I thought we had a really good second half," Gaither coach Eric Sims said. "Defensively, we looked solid."
Gaither keeper John Nardozzi came up big with a point-blank save in the second half. The senior, who earned his eighth shutout, punched away a header from Dorian Maness, who kicked the rebound off the right post.