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)

PHU defense overshadows Brewer's skills in goal

Palm Harbor University girls soccer coach John Planamenta says Hurricanes goalkeeper Nikki Brewer is one of the best stoppers in the area.

Related News/Archive

Brewer's problem? She doesn't get enough opportunities to showcase her skills. In seven games for the Hurricanes, all victories, Brewer has had to make just 14 saves.

Scoring opportunities are a rare commodity for opponents against a defense that features three senior starters in Cina Salemi, Shannon Walisch and Colleen Lynch. Add in role players like Cory Amend, Renee Huy and Nicole Naclerio, and the Hurricanes are as deep and talented on defense as any team in the bay area.

"They've done well back there," Planamenta said. "Sometimes we play three in the back, sometimes four, but even with three in the back we do a good job organizing. And whenever the other team has a scoring opportunity, Nikki does a great job eliminating the threat."

PHU has been scored on only once this season. The Hurricanes own shutouts over good teams like East Lake, Clearwater Central Catholic and Osceola.

"We've played some tough competition, but they're doing very well," Planamenta said.

THE ROAD MUCH TRAVELED: One group at Countryside didn't benefit from the Cougars' region final football run.

The boys and girls soccer teams have just one home game each for the remainder of the regular season — a pivotal district matchup with Palm Harbor University on Jan. 5.

That's because heavy rain during Plant's 24-9 football victory over the Cougars at Countryside on Friday left the field a muddy mess.

"The field's unplayable until we come back from break, and at that point we only have one home game left," boys coach David Sica said.

The Cougars swept district rival St. Petersburg on Tuesday in a doubleheader originally scheduled for Countryside, and Friday's games against Sarasota Riverview will be played at PHU.

Sica's boys squad also was forced to switch a home game in November when the football team hosted Freedom in the region quarterfinals.

OLD NORTHEAST: One of the biggest surprises of the season has been the Northeast boys.

The Vikings lost 13 seniors from a year ago and have six new starters, yet at 3-0-1 are undefeated.

A stingy defense has kept opponents off the scoreboard. The Vikings have surrendered only two goals and held defending south county champion Lakewood scoreless in a 0-0 draw to start December.

Northeast coach Thomas Blauvelt said the addition of Troy Pruitt and Shawn Delmontagne from outside the soccer program has bolstered what he feared would be a suspect back line. Pruitt is a kicker for the football team; Delmontagne is an all-county baseball player.

"I'm always bugging those two to play because I know that they're also soccer players and they're great athletes," Blauvelt said. "Their athleticism is really shutting teams down."

Blauvelt's teams have a reputation for playing physical, aggressive defense. This year is no exception with Pruitt and Delmontagne combining with holdover Richie Parrey, who organizes the defense.

"Those guys have been like animals in the back for us," he said.

PHU defense overshadows Brewer's skills in goal 12/09/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 9:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021


    NFL owners have voted unanimously to move Super Bowl LV to Tampa in Feb. 2021. This will be the fifth time Tampa has hosted and the first time since 2009.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 

Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  2. Why Ryan Fitzpatrick may solve the puzzle for Bucs at backup quarterback


    Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to leave One Buc Place following Thursday’s off-season workout and fly home to New Jersey in time to teach a class of 10 second and third grade students how to solve the Rubiks Cube.

  3. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way


    Rays veteran RHP Alex Cobb had a lot to say Monday about the team needing to focus on getting past .500 and building a winning record.

    And after the disappointing 3-2 loss that …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.
  4. Family a driving force for University of Tampa pitcher David Lebron


    TAMPA — For University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron, baseball reminds him of family. He uses it to help honor the memory of his father, who taught him the game. One day, he hopes his career can help support his mother and allow her to rest.

    University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron (Courtesy of University of Tampa)
  5. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021


    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another …

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.