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Casey puts Chargers in title game

ST. PETERSBURG — Shorecrest forward Jenn Casey has never had trouble finding the back of the net.

In Thursday's Class 2A, District 10 semifinal against Bradenton Christian, Casey scored all of host Shorecrest's goals in a 4-1 victory. The Chargers face top-seeded St. Stephen's, a 1-0 winner over Out-of-Door, tonight at 7 in the final.

"(Casey's) a great player and a great finisher," Bradenton Christian coach Butch Morley said. "To have a girl of that caliber up front against a goalie who had never played before, she is going to finish."

In the first half, both defenses were strong. Casey finally broke through in the 22nd minute, taking a pass from Serena Hutchinson on the left flank. Panthers forward Jordan Ponto came right back and headed a ball in on a corner kick from Lara Morley.

The fireworks began in the second half. Casey quickly netted three goals in 10 minutes to put the game out of reach. The first came in the 45th minute when she headed a pass from Natalie Nagle into goal. The second came in the 48th minute off a long ball from Natalie Harris as Casey outran the defense and beat the goalie one on one.

"It came down to everybody playing harder," Chargers coach Neal Wolfrath said. "We were sluggish in the beginning but we had more intensity."

Casey's final goal came only a minute later on a mistake by the defense. Casey stole an errant pass and again beat the goalie one on one.

"We wanted to get pressure on their defense from our forwards," Wolfrath said. "We switched our formation to have three forwards and that was the difference maker."

Casey puts Chargers in title game 01/21/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 12:21am]
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