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Pinellas: Pinellas Park tops Northeast 8-0 to win Class 5A-12 district boy soccer final

GULFPORT — The story lines entering Saturday's Class 5A, District 12 boys soccer final between Northeast and Pinellas Park were numerous.

First, there was the rescheduling of games because of poor field conditions. That affected Northeast, as starters Kyle Apperson and leading goal scorer Lucas Villarreal missed the final due to prior commitments. Starting forward Victor Saucedo was also out, the result of an injury suffered in Friday's semifinal win over Largo.

There was the rematch factor. The Patriots won 5-3 in early January after a furious comeback.

And there was the journey of the Andrews family, with Pinellas Park junior forward Blake Andrews' story of overcoming a rare, life-threatening blood disorder documented this month in the St. Petersburg Times.

In the end, though, Saturday's final developed into a simple declaration of how good the Pinellas Park program has become. The Patriots (15-2) routed the Vikings 8-0 to secure Pinellas Park's first district title in school history.

Blake Andrews scored three goals and his older brother, Brandon, added two and four assists.

"I've been with (Pinellas Park) for seven years now, and to have us play the way we did today and get our first district title is a great feeling," Pinellas Park coach Chip Bruce said.

Pinellas Park followed Friday's 8-0 win over Gibbs with another stellar performance against Northeast (8-7). Northeast keeper Marino Pavicic turned away the initial wave of shots, but Jordan Kaylor broke through after taking a long pass from Brandon Andrews. Blake Andrews put Pinellas Park up 2-0 minutes later with a direct kick from 30 yards that curled around the defensive wall into the upper-left corner.

Another assist by Brandon Andrews set up a goal by Matt Gaskins for a 3-0 Patriots lead at halftime.

With the depleted Northeast roster running on fumes, the Patriots scored five goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

"It's been amazing to have our team develop the way it has since my freshman year," said Blake Andrews, a three-year starter. "We've come a long way. The coaching staff has been a big key to helping us stay focused on the goal at hand."

Pinellas Park will host Seminole at 7 p.m. Thursday in a region quarterfinal, and Northeast will travel to East Lake.

Pinellas: Pinellas Park tops Northeast 8-0 to win Class 5A-12 district boy soccer final 01/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 29, 2011 11:14pm]
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