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)

Class 5A soccer: Familiar end to East Lake's season

TAMPA — East Lake coach Sergei Stopek prepares his teams for games that play out like Thursday night's Class 5A region quarterfinal against Jesuit.

He knew a game like this one — between nationally ranked teams — could come down to one play. It might have come down to one call.

The Eagles' season ended with sudden-death penalty kicks (5-4) after the teams played to a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtimes, marking the second straight season East Lake's season was ended by Jesuit.

But the Eagles couldn't help but think back to a controversial goal 12 minutes into the game.

Jesuit's only goal came after a scramble in front of the net following a corner kick, but it appeared that scramble came after East Lake goalkeeper David Kirkbridge got his hand on the first shot. The ball hit off the post, then off the football field-goal post just above — which should be a dead ball — and back into play.

"You hope for all three teams do their jobs: the opponents, your team and the third crew," Stopek said, picking his words carefully. "I don't know what else to say. I'm trying to be very professional here, but that is so hard for this group."

East Lake (19-2-4) fought back, with Josh Gonzalez scoring about six minutes later on a crossing pass from Nicholas Patterson, but after Tigers goalkeeper Robert Kouwe stopped Brett Hummel's final PK attempt, it was all over.

The Eagles controlled the pace most of the game after tying the score. But Stopek couldn't help but wish the game had ended differently.

"I'm happy that my kids fought back," Stopek said. "We actually try to plan for stuff like that in our training, like if there's a bad call that doesn't go your way you keep playing. And we did not stop."

East Lake1

jesuit wins 5-4 on pks

Class 5A soccer: Familiar end to East Lake's season 02/06/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 6, 2009 12:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ever since the Bucs made Gerald McCoy the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, he has struggled to overcome the shadow cast by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Warren Sapp.
  2. HomeTeam 100: Players 41-50


    Bulldog QB Charles Harrison III, (12) during the fourth quarter of the Zephyrhills at Nature Coast High School football game on Friday, 11/11/16.
  3. Lake Tarpon bass tournament still going strong after nearly 40 years (w/video)


    Matt Smith, left, and Gary Muchler, work to bring a large mouth bass into Smith's bass boat with only minutes to spare while fishing off Dolly Bay in Lake Tarpon during the Lake Tarpon Tuesday Night Bass Fishing Tournament on Tuesday (7/18/17). The fish sealed second place for the duo.
  4. Rays series preview: Who are the Orioles?


    After the Rangers swept them over the weekend, the Rays won't have much time to rest, with 14 games scheduled for the next 14 days. The second half of their homestand begins tonight against the Orioles. Here's the information you need to know about Baltimore before the action kicks off.

    Starter Wade Miley has melted down after a hot start.
  5. Sergio Romo celebrates striking out Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers to win Game Four of the Major League Baseball World Series at Comerica Park in 2012.