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: Wind almost thwarts East Lake, but Brent Merrick scores twice to top Dunedin

EAST LAKE — Two factors conspired to hold East Lake's potent offense in check in its district boys soccer match against Dunedin on Friday.

Dunedin employed a bend-but-don't-break philosophy defensively, which allowed East Lake to control a majority of the possessions and comfortably move the ball through the midfield. The Eagles, however, couldn't solve Dunedin's back line in the final third and were thwarted time after time by the Falcons defenders or goalkeeper Andrew Hindman.

Combined with a stiff breeze blowing directly in its face the first half, the Eagles only managed three shots on goal before halftime and entered the break deadlocked at zero.

With the wind at its back and the Falcons defense showing a few more holes, East Lake capitalized. Senior Brent Merrick scored twice for the first time since a win over Northeast last season to lead the Eagles to a 2-0 win.

"I was wondering are we really getting locked in this badly or is the wind having something to do with it," East Lake coach Sergei Stopek said.

"The wind definitely played a factor I believe."

Merrick played an effective give-and-go with Brett Hummel to free himself in the box. After receiving Hummel's pass, Merrick sent a shot from the left edge of the box that curled just inside the far post for the game's first goal with 25 minutes remaining.

East Lake (9-1-2) continued applying pressure and was rewarded when Merrick gathered the ball 25 yards from goal, dribbled through the heart of the Dunedin defense and slotted a shot past Hindman to put the game out of reach.

"My man Cameron Coughlin hit a little layoff," said Merrick. "I dribbled straight through and got a little lucky with some of the bounces to finish it off."

Dunedin (2-4) only managed three shots on goal total but was in the game until Merrick's second goal.

"(Dunedin's) a team that's trying to show that they can play," Stopek said. "Today could have been one of those days where maybe they break through, but we were determined to grind it out and do what we can to pull out a victory."

Earlier in the night, the East Lake girls team outshot Dunedin 14-1 to post a 3-0 victory.

Amanda Byrne latched onto a cross on the back post in the fourth minute to give East Lake (6-3-1) an early lead.

Kendall Fordham scored just before the break to make it 2-0 Eagles at halftime, and Stephanie Ferro's goal with 15:30 left sealed the win over the Falcons (3-7).

East Lake2

Boys soccer: Wind almost thwarts East Lake, but Brent Merrick scores twice to top Dunedin 12/11/09 [Last modified: Saturday, December 12, 2009 12:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video shows ex-Bucs DT Brian Price going through glass door


    More and more stories are coming forward of former NFL players and the sad, stunning effects of CTE after their football careers, and a new video shows former Bucs defensive tackle Brian Price running …

    Former Bucs defensive tackle Brian Price, shown arriving at One Buc Place for training camp in the 2012 preseason, is shown in a video from a Michigan TV station running through the glass door of an auto parts store.
  2. HomeTeam 100: Players 11-20


     Rising senior DE/TE Judge Culpepper (right) tackles OL Bryce Love during practice at Plant High School in Tampa, on Tuesday May 2, 2017.
  3. Rays get relief help, acquire LHP Dan Jennings from White Sox


    The Rays got the relief help they were looking for, acquiring LHP Dan Jennings from the White Sox for prospect 1B Casey Gillaspie.

    Jennings, 30, is 3-1, 3.45 in 48 games this season for the White Sox, and is tough on lefty hitters, holding them a .169 average and .497 OPS. He was better last season, posting a …

    Dan Jennings is 3-1, 3.45 in 48 games this season for the White Sox.
  4. Rays series preview: Who are the Yankees?


    To make the playoffs for the first time since 2013, the Rays will have to beat a lot of other contenders. Their eight-game road trip pits them against two of the AL's strongest teams, starting with the Yankees. Here's the information you need to know about Baltimore before the action kicks off.


    As outfielder Aaron Judge, right, has struggled in the second half, shortstop Didi Gregorius, middle, has picked up the slack.
  5. Director: Jameis Winston is most charismatic 'Hard Knocks' QB


    TAMPA — The Bucs' Hard Knocks life has already begun. HBO and NFL Films' behind-the-scenes documentary series of an NFL training camp — this season featuring the Bucs — started filming even before training camp began. That means Matt Dissinger, the show's director, is already the hardest working …

    Jameis Winston (3) lifts a victorious arm after the Bucs beat the San Francisco 49ers in October at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times ]