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Class 5A soccer: Osceola's stellar defense not enough

BRADENTON — In its first state playoff appearance since 2004, Osceola's improbable run ended in the region quarterfinals with a 1-0 loss to Lakewood Ranch.

The Warriors (7-9-2) dominated the Mustangs in the first half, but Lakewood Ranch goalkeeper Kyle Medvetz routinely turned away the attack. Osceola's best chance came on a header from forward Peter Fraser, but Medvetz made a leaping grab.

"We had chances but we didn't finish," Warriors coach Scott Peterson said. "They had a really good keeper. My hat's off to him."

Osceola goalkeeper Nick Zapata was equally up to the challenge, making six saves. He turned away the Mustangs' best chances in the first half, including point-blank shots from Matt Martinez and Michael Puhalovich.

The second half saw more of the same great defense, including another big save by Medvetz on a free kick by Mohrey Ware.

The Mustangs broke through in the 66th minute when Sam Severson took a crossing pass from Puhalovich and initially beat Zapata. As Warriors midfielder Matt DiLeonardo tried to stop the ball from going in the goal, he kicked it off the back of Zapata and the Mustangs scored.

The Warriors had one more good chance during stoppage time when Billy Lacy fired a shot from inside the penalty area, but Mustangs defender Cameron Vermillion deflected the shot and cleared the ball.

"We fed into the kick and run style and didn't play ball possession," Peterson said. "We controlled the ball and you would have thought we won, but we didn't have any goals."

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Class 5A soccer: Osceola's stellar defense not enough 02/05/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 5, 2009 11:52pm]
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