VALRICO — No longer district foes contending for titles and homefield advantage for the playoffs, Bloomingdale and Newsome remain fierce rivals.
That came through loud and clear Friday night in a hard-fought 1-1 tie at Charley Harris Stadium.
Both coaches described the game as a good test for upcoming district tournaments. Unlike recent seasons, however, when the Bulls and Wolves would square off in a district final, Bloomingdale will host the Class 6A, District 8 tourney while Newsome competes in 5A-8 at East Bay.
"It's always going to be a rivalry, whether we're in the same district or not," Newsome coach Kelly Townsend said. "I knew Bloomingdale would be a good enough team for us to prepare next week."
Newsome struck first when Jackie Simpson headed the ball past Bloomingdale goalkeeper Christine Darnell in the 14th minute. Simpson scored her 13th goal by heading the ball inside the left post off a corner kick from Shea Rhoney.
It didn't take long for the Bulls (12-4-3) to tie it up. Sierra Siegel redirected a centering pass from Brittany Coca past keeper Teena Fehling in the 21st minute.
Coca came up with the save of the game in the waning minutes. Darnell and Rhoney collided in the penalty box while chasing down a loose ball, but not before Rhoney blooped the ball over the sprawling keeper. Coca raced back to kick it away in mid-air.
The Wolves (12-3-4) played without scoring leader Karina Gutsche, who is with the Florida Olympic Development Program in New Orleans this weekend. Townsend expects her back in time for the district tournament.