ST. PETERSBURG — In less than two weeks, Clearwater Central Catholic and St. Petersburg Catholic will meet in the district semifinals, the winner advancing to regionals.
Thursday's meeting provided fans a sort of appetizer. And while the stakes weren't nearly as high, the Marauders positioned themselves as the favorite to challenge Berkeley Prep for the district 3A-10 title with a come-from-behind, 3-2 victory.
CCC freshman Kelly Shanahan scored the winning goal five minutes into the second half after teammate Jenn Marzi sent a cross into the box from the left wing that rolled across the goal mouth, just out of the reach of Barons goalkeeper Maggie Dalessio (six saves) and onto the back post where Shanahan one-touched it into goal.
"Jenn has a really good left foot," Shanahan said. "I knew she'd somehow pass it through."
Two minutes earlier, CCC's Alexandra Alberdi knotted the score at 2 after receiving a pass in the box and shooting against the grain to beat Dalessio.
"We made a couple adjustments at halftime and they didn't pick it up real quick," CCC coach Tom Typrowicz said. "We switched two people. … Sometimes that's how you change the tempo of the game, not switching the formation but the personnel and it worked for us."
The Barons (13-4-2) scored in the second minute when Olivia Wilkinson gathered a deflection at the top of the 18 and blasted a low roller into goal.
Kaitlin Parker tied the game for the Marauders (8-4-4) in the 15th minute. The Barons took a 2-1 lead just before halftime when Rebecca Borland squeezed between two defenders and unleashed a shot that CCC keeper Tiffany Molloy (three saves) deflected but couldn't keep out of goal.
"CCC played a high-pressure game," SPC coach Gary Kolb said. "They made the passes and we didn't and that was the difference."