TAMPA — The Class 2A, District 9 semifinal had barely begun Wednesday when Lindsay Boos sent a cross to Julia Lester, who slipped it past the Berkeley Prep goalkeeper in the third minute to put Academy of the Holy Names on top.
It was the only goal the Jaguars mustered for the next 76 minutes. Holy Names only had a few viable chances the rest of the way, so the Jaguars' challenge then was to make sure one goal would be enough. That duty largely fell to freshman goalkeeper Kendall Catone.
Though Berkeley Prep had its chances in the second half, Catone turned in four saves to put the Jaguars (15-1) in Friday's district final with a 1-0 win. Holy Names will face Tampa Prep (9-8-1), a 1-0 winner over Clearwater Central Catholic in two overtimes.
During a five-minute span in the second half, Berkeley Prep (6-11-3) peppered the goal, forcing Catone to make back-to-back diving saves. The Bucs kept the ball on Holy Names' side of the field for most of the final 40 minutes.
"It's rough to watch," Catone said about the Bucs' late control. "But we have an amazing defense. I'm never worried with them."
In the 72nd minute, the Bucs had their best chance at an equalizer when Dana Manning sent a long ball to the net, inches below the top post. Catone, however, punched it away.
In contrast to the Jaguars' early score, Tampa Prep and Clearwater Central Catholic fought for 80 minutes of regulation, but neither team had anything to show for it.
Tampa Prep coach Cindy Schofield said she was planning for penalty kicks, picking out her lineup of five shooters in her mind.
Playing two, 10-minute overtime halves, CCC and Tampa Prep were less than three minutes away from having a penalty-kick decision when Terrapin forward Darla Harrison received the ball on the left side of the box. She saw the CCC goalie at the near post, so she aimed for the right side of the goal.
And in the 98th minute, the stalemate finally ended.
Multiple times in regulation, CCC's Brooke Oliver and Michaela Carson made it past Terrapin defenders, but wide shots or big saves kept the Marauders (3-8-4) off the board.
The Terrapins had even more opportunities to take the lead, especially in the second half. Twice, though, a Tampa Prep shot bounced off the post and out.
"Usually when teams have that many chances and they don't score, they don't win," Schofield said. "Thankfully we were not on that side of the ball tonight."