INDIAN ROCKS — For the first time in school history, Indian Rocks Christian captured the Bay Conference boys soccer championship. But aside from the score, it gave the team a lesson on how not to play in the postseason.
The Eagles (9-5-3) shut out Bradenton Christian (7-4-3) 2-0 Thursday night, but six-year coach Rich Hayward was not happy with the intensity.
"We didn't play as well as we've been playing lately," he said. "We were off just a bit tonight. Sometimes we don't play at our highest level."
One reason the intensity was down may have been the flow of the game. After a scoreless 40 minutes, Andres Carballo-Gomez scored on the first shot in the second period for a 1-0 advantage. Jonny Sitton brought the ball down the field and passed to Edi Baba-Aliq, who made the perfect setup pass to Gomez for his 10th goal this season.
Ten minutes later, Chad Gessner, a freshman, notched his third goal of the season on a little looper on the side of the net. Again, Baba-Aliq had the assist.
The Eagles not only had a 2-0 lead, but Bradenton Christian rarely used more than two players on its offensive attacks. Indian Rocks goalkeeper Kollin Woodbury made five saves in the first half, but had to stop only one shot the entire second half. The Panthers never threatened and Woodbury recorded his fifth shutout.