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)

Boys soccer: Steinbrenner routs Palmetto for Berkeley crown

TAMPA — His team was already heading into the Christmas break on a high, but Steinbrenner boys soccer coach Chad Ebright left his players with one more reason to shout.

Ebright informed his Warriors of their national ranking, a lofty No. 25. And that will only get better after what happened Saturday. The Warriors won the 20th annual Berkeley Invitational title with a 5-2 win over Palmetto.

A state semifinalist last year, Palmetto's lone loss this season before Saturday was to national No. 1 Montverde. And so all Steinbrenner did was blitz to a 3-0 lead in the first 20 minutes. Even the Warriors didn't expect that.

"No, not at all," said Michael Connell, who scored twice, as did Blake Wilson. "We all wanted to beat them so bad after what happened here last year. And I guess emotion just pulled us through that start of the game."

Palmetto won in penalty kicks at last year's Berkeley event.

Connell scored seven minutes in, taking advantage of a failed clearing attempt and outmuscling a defender to the ball.

Ten minutes later, Noah Keene took a shot on a free kick from 60 yards away, and it went in after a failed punch attempt by Palmetto's goalie.

"Guess I got a little lucky there," said Keene, who keyed a strong defensive effort alongside Josh Rodriguez.

Then right at the 20-minute mark Wilson ripped a shot from 20 yards for the unexpected three-goal lead.

"We were fortunate. Against Palmetto, 3-0 just doesn't happen like that," Ebright said.

Palmetto (13-2) got a goal before the half on Ben Espinal's penalty kick, making the next score crucial. Connell got it on an assist from Zachary Yarish three minutes after halftime.

"That fourth goal was the most important one of the game," Wilson said. "We knew it was going to be hard tonight, and that really solidified our position."

Wilson made it 5-1 when he drew a foul and buried the penalty kick.

Palmetto got a little despondent, prompting coach Dustin Dahlquist to pull six players with 22 minutes left.

Ebright had another reason for making sure his players knew they were getting national recognition: It also means they will get their opponents' utmost attention.

"We're going to get everyone's best game now," he said. "In Hillsborough County at least, we're the measuring stick. And we're only in our fifth year. That's what we've worked for."

Steinbrenner (12-1-1) got two second-half goals from Austin Labban to defeat Berkeley Prep 2-0 in the semifinals.

Jesuit's Daryian Flores scored with 15 minutes left to tie Palmetto, but the Tigers lost their semifinal 3-1 as Palmetto scored with six minutes remaining and added a goal in the closing seconds.

Jesuit (9-3-2) took the third-place game 1-0 against Berkeley Prep (4-7-3) on a Paul Anderson goal. Auburndale claimed fifth place by beating Newsome 5-2.

Boys soccer: Steinbrenner routs Palmetto for Berkeley crown 12/21/13 [Last modified: Saturday, December 21, 2013 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.