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Tampa Catholic loses in shootout

As dusk settled Friday, Florida Air Academy in Melbourne rose above the poor lighting and field conditions and defeated Tampa Catholic in a shootout, 2-1, to win the Section II boys' soccer championship and advance to its first-ever state tournament. Florida Air Academy (16-5-2) won on the final round of penalty kicks as Roberto Char punched the ball in the left side of the net to clinch a 4-3 penalty kick edge. On the previous kick, Falcon goalie Jose Urena made a diving save on TC forward Mike Skryd to set up Char's heroics.

FAA scored in the 90th minute, just before the end of the first 10-minute overtime. Forward Jose Zarraga broke a scoreless tie, scoring his team-leading 48th goal of the year on a give-and-go from forward Isaih Navarro deep in the Tampa Catholic goal box.

But in the 98th minute, Skryd took a delicate over-the-top pass from winger Todd Farina and nailed the ball just inches under the crossbar to force the penalty-kick round. The Crusaders (13-8-3) had barely crossed midfield and made no offensive threats in the second 10-minute extra stanza before Skryd's goal.

The last-minute surge by Tampa Catholic's offense ended a string of frustration and narrowly missed shots for the Crusaders, who kept up the attack most of the game and outshot the Falcons, 22-15.

Tampa Catholic dominated the first half, keeping their ball in the

offensive end for most of the last 25 minutes.