Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Senior's first goal great for St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In the four-year high school soccer career of St. Petersburg midfielder Ryan Rivera, the senior never once ripped a shot into the back of the net.

Rivera's value to the Green Devils comes more from his ability to set up goals.

But in a pivotal district matchup Wednesday with Countryside, Rivera found himself on the receiving end of an opportunistic throw-in into the box from Clay Payne. Rivera calmly headed the long throw deep in Countryside territory past Cougars goalkeeper Hunter Maricle to score what would prove to be the only goal St. Petersburg would need in a 2-0 victory over the Cougars (6-4-4).

"It took me long enough (to score)," Rivera said with a laugh. "It was a big one. Clay made eye contact with me, and he saw I was pretty open."

Rivera's first career goal was especially important for St. Petersburg (6-3-1). It gave the Green Devils the inside track for the top seed in the Class 6A, District 7 tournament.

It also snapped a two-game losing streak for a St. Petersburg squad hampered by injuries. Starters Warren Simmons and Matt Schafer were out of the lineup (Schafer is lost for the year with a torn meniscus). Two others, Robert Menke and Casey Killian, weren't 100 percent.

"This win was huge for us because we were playing incredibly well at the beginning of the season and we've been hit with awful injuries," St. Petersburg first-year coach Rui Farias said. "They knew they had to win this game, so they worked really hard tonight."


St. Petersburg 1, Countryside 0: Life can get pretty boring sometimes for a goalkeeper.

Wednesday was one of those nights for St. Petersburg goalie Dayna Adams. The senior netminder was tested only once in the Green Devils' victory over Countryside. Anytime the Cougars (5-4-1) threatened, a host of St. Petersburg defenders would converge on the ball.

"That's what I want. I hate having to do work," Adams jokingly said. "I guess it's good to be bored because then that means the defenders are doing their job."

The game's lone goal came with 28 minutes left in the first half. St. Petersburg (7-3-1) was awarded a penalty shot when Mel Kepto was tripped in the box, and Adriana Rodrigues converted.

Senior's first goal great for St. Petersburg 12/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, December 18, 2008 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Good to be bad? Dirk Koetter's call for bold, brash Bucs


    Is being a badass team all about swagger and toughness? "Our whole thing is about competing," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter says. (Loren Elliott | Times)
  2. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  3. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  4. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.