Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Region girls soccer: Shorecrest reaches state semi with OT win

ST. PETERSBURG — Moments earlier, the Shorecrest girls soccer team was equal parts dismayed and disheartened.

Less than 60 seconds from its first state semifinal since 2007, the Chargers allowed a late, equalizing goal to Community School of Naples to send their Class A, Region 2 final into overtime tied 2-2. Thoughts of the previous season, when a penalty kick prevented the Chargers from the region title, crept in.

But with one nod of her head, Shorecrest senior Sarah Zolper sent her teammates and the home crowd into hysterics.

In the third minute of overtime, Sophie Wiltshire sent a corner kick toward the back post, and Zolper powered a header past Seahawks goalkeeper Melissa Eklund to give the Chargers a 3-2 victory and a place in the state semifinals.

"It was instinct when I saw it," Zolper said. "I knew that could be the chance."

Olivia Rovin's goal in the 74th minute gave the Chargers (19-2) a 2-1 lead. Caitlin Allweiss kept the ball alive near the right corner flag and centered it for Rovin, whose shot hit the left post and into the goal.

Community School (20-4-2) remained determined, and was rewarded when Abby Kastroll dribbled from midfield toward the right edge of the box, crossed toward the far post and Tatiana Zuloaga slotted the equalizer into goal with 54 seconds remaining.

"That was a gut shot," Shorecrest coach Neal Wolfrath said.

In the 20th minute, Zolper blasted a free kick from 25 yards that took a slight deflection off of a defender and into the goal.

Chargers goalkeeper Natalie Zolper (five saves) kept the Seahawks off the scoreboard in the first half with two point-blank stops, the first coming 45 seconds after her twin sister scored and the second two minutes later on a shot from Zuloaga.

The Seahawks broke through in the 54th minute, though, when Gabby Demarest volleyed a shot past the Chargers keeper. From there, the match swung back-and-forth until Sarah Zolper finished it with her forehead.

"Finally," she said. "We've been waiting for this. We wanted it so badly."

3A: Largo ousted

LARGO — At the start of the season, Largo coach Dan Flynn aimed for the state final four.

The Packers played as many tough teams in Pinellas County as possible. And after winning the district and surviving two playoff games, Largo reached its first region final since 1997, on the brink of its first state semifinal since 1986.

But Merritt Island, a program with five final four appearances in the past 13 seasons, proved to have too much experience, defeating Largo 3-0 on Friday in the Class 3A region final.

"Merritt Island is an excellent soccer, easily the best we've played all year," Flynn said. "Their coach told me before the game they have 18 players who are on club teams. We're not there yet. I could tell about midway through the first half that this one was going to be awfully tough for us."

A steady mist turned into fog, which could have worked to Largo's advantage with the wet field neutralizing some of Merritt Island's speed. But the Packers missed midfielder Morgan Power, who sprained her ankle and knee in Tuesday's semifinal win over Robinson.

The Mustangs adapted to the conditions, scoring once in the first half and twice in the second.

Afterward, the Packers were hardly devastated. Most smiled, issued high-fives and took pictures together. They can take solace in knowing they have a future together with only four of 19 players on the roster graduating.

"I told the girls at the beginning of the season that we make it far in the playoffs," Flynn said. "They kind of hemmed and hawed but after while they started believing it."

Bob Putnam, Times staff writer

Region finals

3 p.m. today

5A: George Jenkins at Palm Harbor University

4A: Seminole at Lakewood Ranch

State semifinals

At Eastern Florida State College, Melbourne

A: Shorecrest vs. Lakeland Christian, 12:30 Wednesday

Region girls soccer: Shorecrest reaches state semi with OT win 01/31/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 31, 2014 11:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.