Saturday, January 20, 2018

Region boys soccer: Wilson comes through again for Steinbrenner

LUTZ — Steinbrenner struck gold again.

Senior Blake Wilson scored a golden goal in the first overtime, and Steinbrenner rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final nine minutes of regulation to defeat St. Petersburg 4-3 Thursday night in a Class 5A region quarterfinal thriller.

Steinbrenner (17-1-1), ranked fourth in the state by MaxPreps, will host East Lake on Tuesday.

Wilson connected for his second career golden goal in the 87th minute, his second score of the match.

"These boys don't quit," Steinbrenner coach Chad Ebright said. "We had that in the district final (Steinbrenner beat East Lake 2-1 on Wilson's golden goal in the 89th minute), down a man and Blake Wilson comes through in overtime."

Wilson's winner came after Oswald Francis' 30-yard blast in the first minute of overtime hit the crossbar for St. Petersburg (11-5).

"St. Pete controlled play," Ebright said. "When they got up 3-1, we made some moves to go a little more offensive — moving Blake Wilson out of center mid up top and Noah Keene out of center back to center mid. We were fortunate."

Keene scored twice, tying the score at 3 on a header in the 78th minute.

On the winning goal, Mike Connell sent the ball to Tony Scaglione, who passed it to Wilson for his 15-yard shot from the right side that went under the arms of diving keeper Jack McCoy.

"Being down 3-1, most teams would have thrown in the towel," Wilson said. "What I really admire about our team is that we never gave up. Our biggest attribute is our heart, and we fight to the finish."

Newsome 4, Timber Creek 0: Host Newsome squandered numerous opportunities to score early in a Class 5A region quarterfinal against Orlando Timber Creek.

Once Newsome cracked the back of the net for the first time, however, the goals came in bunches for a Wolves team peaking at the right time.

Newsome scored four goals within a 20-minute span and held Timber Creek without a shot on goal to advance to the region semis for the first time in three seasons. Newsome (16-4-2) has won seven straight.

"It was scary at first," Newsome coach Allen Ware said. "We had some chances that we should have put away, and we didn't."

Newsome junior forward Eric Lint had two breakaway opportunities against Timber Creek goalkeeper Tyler Richards (seven saves) in the first three minutes. The opening chance was tackled away from behind; the second was blocked by Richards.

Newsome continued to capitalize on multiple turnovers from a shaky Timber Creek (15-5-2) defense, but Jake Vander Luit hit the left post with a 15-yard shot in the 15th minute and skipped a shot wide in the 32nd.

Two minutes before halftime, Austin Cobb finally broke through for Newsome, tucking a 25-yard free kick inside the near post. "That first goal relaxed us a little," Ware said.

Newsome continued the scoring surge after the break. Lint tracked down a pass on the left wing, dribbled into the box, cut back toward the center of the field and curled a right-footed shot past Richards in the 44th minute. Three minutes later, Vander Luit powered a header past Richards.

Vander Luit, who missed two months of the season with two torn ligaments in his right ankle, made the score 4-0 after looping a header over Richards off a corner-kick pass from Lint in the 57th minute.

"To be able to go out there and work hard and score goals, especially being out for two months, feels really good," said Vander Luit, a junior.

Class 4A

Seminole 3, Hillsborough 2 OT: Liam Murphy scored three minutes into the first overtime as Seminole (15-8-1) — after blowing a late lead — beat host Hillsborough.

"We knew we could beat this team," Murphy said. "We just had to keep our heads in the game."

Shane Butler played a ball in from the left corner. Murphy cut through the box and volleyed in the winner before being mobbed by his teammates in front of the Terriers goal.

After failing to convert on numerous chances for nearly an hour, a corner from Butler in the 56th minute found Tanner Vaughn, who made it 1-0. Murphy was then taken down in the box seven minutes later and converted the penalty kick to put the Warhawks up 2-0.

But Hillsborough (10-7-3), which had few serious chances through the first 70 minutes, rallied. In the 72nd minute, a long throw-in from Matias Marchi bounced in the box, skimmed off a Seminole defender's head and into the goal to cut the Warhawks lead to one. Then in extra time, Marchi placed a corner on the head of Alejandro Tovar to tie it.

"This team hasn't quit all year," Terriers coach Steven Colborne said. "They play to the final whistle. But I think (Seminole) deserved the win."

Times correspondents Brandon Wright and Bryan Burns contributed to this report.

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