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Gulf takes regional title game 2-0

NEW PORT RICHEY - Tim D'Amico and Brent Whaley scored to lead the Gulf High Buccaneers to a 2-0 victory over Sanford Seminole in the Class 3A, Region IV boys soccer championship game on Tuesday night. "We had things too easy," said Gulf coach Ron Barnett, whose team claimed its second consecutive regional crown. "The game being what it is, I think the mistakes and nervousness showed in the first half."

The Buccaneers earned a return ticket to the Class 3A, Section II title game on Friday at Daytona Beach Seabreeze, which won Region III Tuesday night by beating Satellite Beach 1-0.

For the first 24 minutes of Tuesday's game, neither team could sustain any offensive momentum. That changed when Gulf's Brent Whaley crossed a pass to Scott Perry for the Bucs' first true challenge to Seminole goalkeeper Jon Williams. That shot was stopped, but the Buccaneers picked up the pace.

Gradually the Bucs shortened up the field with its defense and precise passing and shots came more frequently. One finally broke through for a goal with 7:56 left in the first half.

A header by Todd Shaw sent the ball into a opening in front of the Seminole goal. Senior forward Tim D'Amico squeezed off a quick shot that was blocked but not controlled by Williams. D'Amico followed up with a light tap that rolled the ball into the net.