It was a case of deja vu for the Sarasota boys soccer team Friday night at the Class 4A, Section II championship game at Bloomingdale High School. The Sarasota Sailors, losers in last year's sectional championship game to Gaither, were once again sunk in the sectional. This time however, it was Bloomingdale that washed out the Sailors' season with a 1-0 victory.
Bloomingdale (19-2) are winners of 11 straight games and will be making its first ever appearance in the 4A state tournament next Friday at the University of Tampa's Pepin/Rood Stadium.
Of the Bulls' 19 wins, 17 have been by shutout. On the other hand, the loss marks just the second time this season that Sarasota (16-3-2) has been blanked.
"In the first half, Sarasota took us completely out of our game.
We were embarrassed by that first half," Bloomingdale coach Steve Houle said. "But when the ball was played more on the ground, that's when we started playing more of our game.
"I said when districts started that we wouldn't be happy until we got the whole pie. Having 19 wins is great, but we want two more.
We're gonna bake that pie next Friday. Hopefully, I'll get to eat it on Saturday."
Bloomingdale struck the decisive blow at the 49:19 mark after a long throw-in.
Tom Deveney heaved the ball from the right sideline to Sarasota's left post and Andy Laverghetta, a sophomore, flicked the ball with his head between goalkeeper Dan Burko's hands for the goal.
Burko, one of just two Puma All-Americans in Florida, allowed only his 16th goal in the Sailors' 21 games.
"I really felt that it would be a one-goal game in this situation," Sarasota coach Al Solari said. "We managed to pick up the intensity some near the end of the game but we should have been playing that way for the entire 80 minutes."
Bloomingdale goalkeeper Chad Bridges finished the game with nine saves, most of which came in the waning minutes of the contest.