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)

Soccer: Countryside 3, East Lake 0

CLEARWATER — When asked if it seemed Countryside had the "it" factor to compete for the state title after a 3-0 victory over East Lake on Tuesday, Cougars coach Dave Sica bristled at the notion.

"I don't even want to think about our next game, let alone the playoffs," he said. "Time will only tell."

The Cougars, who have wins over Palm Harbor University and Seminole along with a 2-2 tie against Sickles, exhibited a championship style of play on both sides of the ball against a talented East Lake squad. The offense made just as many crafty plays as the defense did.

Nikolai Hammer had two goals to raise his season total to 18 and sophomore fullback David Kuckkahn tallied his first goal as Countryside improved to 9-1-1 and avenged last week's penalty-kick loss to the Eagles in a Thanksgiving tournament.

"That was an eye-opener for us," said Hammer, who scored five of the Cougars' 10 goals in the tournament. "We were a little bit tense (Tuesday night) early on, but once (Kuckkahn) scored, it allowed us to relax and put things together a bit easier."

The first half was evenly played until Kuckkahn flicked in a shot off a corner kick by Andrew Hitt just less than 15 minutes before halftime.

The Cougars were more aggressive in the second half and peppered Eagles keeper Stephen Barna with several shots on goal. Then Hammer got by a defender in the open field and rifled in a low line drive from just inside the penalty box to give the Cougars a comfortable cushion midway through the second half.

"We, as a coaching staff, have to keep reminding them that they have to prove they're the best team on the field with hard work combined with their talent," Sica said. "That's our motto this year. Prove it. There's too much work to be done before we can tell if we have what it takes to win states. We just have to keep progressing from one game to the next."

The East Lake girls got goals from Madison Del Duca, Kristy Legoas and Meghan Dodge in a 3-0 victory over Countryside. The Cougars dominated in the first half with several shots on goal, but Eagles coach Derek Harrington moved Meghan Kelly and Karina White from outside halfback to the inner portion of his alignment to create more opportunities.

"They are our toughest players, and they were able to win the ball at midfield and create plays for our attackers," he said.

Soccer: Countryside 3, East Lake 0 12/01/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 12:15am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
  2. Jameis Winston as 2017 NFL MVP? 66-to-1 odds from Vegas

    Blogs

    Could Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston be an NFL MVP in 2017? It's certainly unlikely, but the sports book at Bovada has opening lines with Winston getting 66-to-1 odds, worse than 22 other players across the league.

    Bucs fans would be very happy if quarterback Jameis WInston can put himself into consideration for the NFL MVP award during the 2017 season.
  3. Deon Cain, Duke Dawson, Derrick Nnadi among SI's top 100 players

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's countdown of the top 100 players in college football continues with three more local players.

  4. The greatest coaches never to win it all

    College

    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  5. Bucs fans ranked 25th in study of NFL teams

    Blogs

    The Bucs and their fans are ranked 25th in an Emory University study of NFL teams' "fan base and branding analysis."

    Bucs fans were on their feet for this fourth-quarter play at home against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in 2015.