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)

East Lake, PHU play to tie, advance to Puma Challenge semis

CLEARWATER — Losing is not an option for East Lake and Palm Harbor University, especially when the bitter neighborhood rivals square off.

And for the second team this season, neither team tasted defeat as the Eagles and Hurricanes played to a scoreless draw Tuesday to conclude group play at the Puma Challenge. A week ago, East Lake and PHU tied 1-1.

"It's two teams that just know each other really well," East Lake coach Sergei Stopek said.

PHU (6-0-2) had the bulk of the scoring opportunities in the first half but couldn't convert. East Lake (4-0-3) was the aggressor in the second half but found goalkeeper Joshua Paul impossible to crack.

"I thought both teams played great," PHU coach Alex Delgado said. "I don't think either team wants to give one an edge."

By virtue of its 2-0 win over Seminole earlier in the day, PHU had already clinched a spot in the semifinals before its match against East Lake. The Eagles, who won their morning game 2-0 over River Ridge, still had work to do to move forward.

"We had more to lose than they did because they had already advanced," Stopek said. "We were in a position where a loss could have taken us out of the tournament."

PHU finishes group play as the Flight A winner and will take on Countryside today at 10 a.m. in one semifinal. East Lake, the Flight A runnerup, plays Flight B winner Winter Park at noon. The semifinal winners will compete at 6 p.m. for the championship.

Countryside 4, Pinellas Park 0: Countryside maintained possession for most of its match with Pinellas Park. The Cougars kept the ball in the Patriots' half of the field and peppered their goal with shot after shot. Countryside had everything going its way yet for the first 55 minutes couldn't find a way to score. Enter substitute Blaise Elkes, who knocked home a goal one minute after coming off the bench in the second half. Greg Crowell had two second-half goals and Andrew Hitt added the fourth score. "It's the story of our year so far," Countryside coach David Sica said. "We haven't been able to finish all year. We're giving up less than a goal a game, but it doesn't matter if you can't score." Countryside (2-2-2), which got a goal from Crowell to tie Winter Park 1-1 earlier in the day, finished as runnerup in Flight B.

Land O'Lakes 8, Pinellas Park 1: Pinellas Park finished the tournament 0-3 after losing to Land O'Lakes and Countryside on the final day of group play. Josh Annon scored the Patriots' lone goal of the tournament.

Seminole 2, River Ridge 1: Despite winning its final game of the tournament, Seminole failed to qualify for the semifinals. The Warhawks finished with four points, one behind East Lake for the Flight A runnerup spot.

Winter Park 2, Land O'Lakes 1: Winter Park took a 2-0 lead and held on to defeat the Gators. The win secured first place in Flight B for the Wildcats. The Land O'Lakes loss coupled with Countryside's defeat of Pinellas Park bounced the Gators.

East Lake, PHU play to tie, advance to Puma Challenge semis 11/26/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning


    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."
  2. Perfection's not easy in baseball, just ask Calvary Christian


    CLEARWATER — Of the more than 300 varsity high school baseball teams in Florida, only one has won every game this season: Calvary Christian. The Warriors are a perfect 28-0.

    Calvary Christian's Matheu Nelson (63) prepares to take an at bat during the first inning of Wednesday's (5/10/17) region baseball semifinal game between Trinity Prep and Calvary Christian in Clearwater.
  3. Rays shut out Angels to cap homestand, get back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays completed their seven-game homestand Thursday with a 4-0 victory against the Angels, a win that moved them back to .500 for the season.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) after they score on the single by center fielder Colby Rasmus (28) in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.
  4. Bucs suspended RB Doug Martin breaks his silence and says his drug problem is 'definitely behind me.'


    He would not talk about the drug he abused. He didn’t identify the rehab facility he entered last January or how long he was there.

    Doug Martin was contrite but optimistic about returning to the form he demonstrated as the NFL's second leading rusher two years ago.
  5. Kickoff times announced for Florida-Michigan, FSU-Alabama


    College football's blockbuster Sept. 2 season openers finally have kickoff times.