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Soccer region preview

LITHIA — One year ago at River Ridge, Newsome's season was almost in serious jeopardy.

Almost.

Trailing 1-0 in the waning minutes of last season's 5A region quarterfinals, River Ridge got deep into the Wolves' defensive third and sent a ball through the box. Newsome defender Kayli Kishel stepped up to clear it and was knocked to the ground by a River Ridge player who tapped in what looked to be the equalizer.

Looked to be.

"The center ref called a goal," Newsome coach Kelly Townsend said. "But the side judge came over to him and told him there was a foul on the play before the goal."

The whistle was lost amid River Ridge's celebration, leaving Royal Knights players thinking they had just pulled out an improbable goal as time expired.

"Honestly, I don't remember much about the play," Kishel said. "I just remember seeing them celebrate at midfield."

But the celebration was cut short by the call, one that left Royal Knights coaches, players and fans feeling hoodwinked.

River Ridge (18-2) will get another shot at the Wolves (22-3-1) at 7 tonight in the region semifinals at Newsome.

"They'll be coming for revenge," Kishel said.

Townsend's primary job leading up tonight's match has been keeping the team focused.

"They were happy when they saw Bloomingdale lost, but I keep reminding them this team we're about to play beat Bloomingdale," Townsend said. "And I'm sure they want some redemption after last year."

Fast facts

6A

East Bay (12-2-2) at Alonso (16-5-1)

The Indians may be the best team you've never heard of. East Bay played to a draw with Newsome and reached the semifinals on Lauren Verbosky's goal near the end of double overtime in a 2-1 win against Sickles. The Indians' attack is led by Brittany Cox (23 goals). Alonso defeated Durant, one of the two teams to beat East Bay this season, 1-0 Friday to reach the semis.

3A

St. Petersburg Cath. (14-4-2) at Berkeley (18-3-2)

The Buccaneers cruised into the semifinals with a 7-1 pasting of Cardinal Mooney on Thursday. The offense will get a test tonight against a physical SPC team. The Bucs have defeated the Barons twice this season, 2-0 and 1-0.

2A

Tampa Prep (15-3-2) at IRC (14-6)

If the first meeting was any indication, IRC could be in for a long night. Tampa Prep, the defending state champion, breezed past the Eagles earlier this season and has been on a roll. The Terrapins got a hat trick from Taylor Richardson and two from Colby Maffei as they hammered Shorecrest 5-0 Thursday.

Soccer region preview 02/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 2, 2009 11:46pm]
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