Gulf and Ridgewood surprised no one in picking up easy wins _ with identical 7-0 scores _ in the semifinals of the Class 3A, District 9 boys soccer tournament Wednesday night at Ridgewood's Ram Stadium.
Jeff Starkey and Todd Shaw each posted hat tricks to lead second-seeded Gulf (12-2 in 3A-9) over Springstead (11-6-1) in the first semifinal.
Hobby Barndollar and Dave Lundekvam each scored a pair to lead top-seeded Ridgewood (14-0) over Hudson (5-9).
Ridgewood hosts Gulf Friday night at 7 p.m. for the 3A-9 championship. Ridgewood has beaten Gulf both times this year in posting a perfect Sunshine Athletic Conference and 3A-9 record.
Gulf's only district or conference losses have been to Ridgewood.
Gulf controlled its game entirely, allowing the Eagles few opportunities to shoot at backup goalkeeper Sims Henry . The Bucs' controlled play frustrated Springstead.
Hudson gave Ridgewood a battle _ for a while. Hudson's defensive play kept the game scoreless until Barndollar flicked an indirect kick by Anthony Lendino past charging Cobras goalkeeper Toby Jones. The junior had several good saves to keep the score 1-0 until halftime.
Ridgewood was much stronger after the break, Lundekvam's unassisted goal eleven minutes into second half opened the floodgates, as the Rams pounded Jones and tired Hudson defenders.
Gulf, the defending 3A-9 champion, advanced to the Class 3A state semifinals last year. Ridgewood did not have a chance to play in the district final last year because the participation of an academically ineligible player cost the Rams a semifinal win.