ST. PETERSBURG — Jenn Casey scored the only goal midway through the first half as Shorecrest used a strong defensive effort to defeat Seffner Christian 1-0 in the Bay Conference Championship on Thursday.
The Chargers (10-5-1) stayed on the attack most of the game but could never get an insurance goal against Seffner Christian goalkeeper Laura Swartz.
"I thought we might have left a couple of goals on the field, but you have to credit their keeper for doing an amazing job," Shorecrest coach Neal Wolfrath said. "We had plenty of opportunities and just couldn't get it done."
Shorecrest dominated possession and kept the ball in the middle of the pitch when it wasn't pressuring. Still the Crusaders (9-5-1) had some open looks. With 10 minutes left in the first half Bianca Lopez had a good look at a shot but failed to follow through.
The Crusaders' best opportunity came with six minutes left as Lopez beat Shorecrest keeper Tori Diaz to a loose ball. But Lopez couldn't control the possession.
"We could never get off that decisive shot," Seffner Christian coach Frank Lopez said. "We were playing without a couple of starters and we battled hard, but they aren't going to give you too many opportunities so we had to take advantage of the couple that we got."
Shorecrest starts district play next week.
"This was a good game to get us to the postseason," Wolfrath said. "We had a chance to defend a one-goal lead and I thought the team handled it well."