TAMPA — When Indian Rocks Christian lost to Bishop McLaughlin 3-2 earlier this month, the Golden Eagles admittedly didn't look all that sharp.
But they had an excuse.
"We hadn't played in two weeks (during winter break)," IRC coach Joe Raissi said. "The girls really weren't in shape."
In Thursday's Class 2A, District 9 semifinal at Tampa Prep, IRC was ready, and it showed. Behind four first-half goals, the third-seeded Golden Eagles cruised to a 4-1 win. They'll play top-seeded Tampa Prep tonight at 7.
In its defeat to Bishop McLaughlin, IRC (10-6) missed numerous scoring chances. Thursday night, it let very few slip away. Just a few minutes into the match, IRC ninth-grader Ashley Llerena connected on a 35-yard free kick to put her team ahead 1-0.
IRC goals from Juliette Raissi, Kristen Brown and Stephanie Pattison followed as the Golden Eagles built a 4-0 first-half lead.
Bishop McLaughlin (11-3-2), which squandered a few early chances, didn't get on the board until Katie Hellman found the net in the 38th minute. In the second half, IRC played keep away.
"We really weren't on our game tonight," Bishop McLaughlin coach Tim Gronau said.