The offense of the Countryside High boys soccer team became more productive in a 4-1 district-clinching victory over Dunedin Friday. In the Region IV match Tuesday night, it ran Sarasota Riverview clear off the field.
The Cougars took a giant step toward the defense of their Class 4A state title by routing Riverview 7-1. Top-ranked Countryside, survivor of a dozen one-goal victories this season, take on Tampa Chamberlain in the Section II final Friday at 7 p.m. at Countryside. The Chiefs nipped Bloomingdale 3-2 on penalty kicks in Tuesday's Region III matchup.
Friday's winner advances to the 4A state semifinals.
"I believe we have hit our stride," said Countryside coach Ron Marn, who squad has scored 13 goals in three post-season games. "The defense and midfield are stronger than ever, and our forwards are finally relaxed and playing smooth. We won't take anyone for granted, but we are ready to take on anybody."
Junior Hugh Richeson led the Cougars (21-0-1), scoring his fourth and fifth goals of the post-season. Randy Irick, Brad Lancaster, Tondrid Campbell, Neal Butcher and Denny Tucker also tallied for Countryside.
CCC beats Mooney 5-0
CLEARWATER _ Clearwater Central Catholic, ranked No.
1 in the Class 2A boys soccer poll, scored four second-half and earned its 11th consecutive victory, 5-0 over Sarasota-Cardinal Mooney in the 2A-Region V final.
The Marauders (15-5-3) outshot Mooney 20-9 _ 13-3 in the second half.
"A lot of people had written us off earlier in the season," CCC assistant Andrew Castanheiro said.
The Cougars (9-10) appeared to go ahead 1:24 into the game, but offside nullified the goal. Three minutes later, CCC's Jerry Brozyna headed in an easy score off an assist from Chris Kovack.
Midway through the second half, Josh Davis scored on a direct free kick. Justin Riess had the next two goals, and Tony Serpico finished the scoring.
The Marauders play at Englewood-Lemon Bay in the Section III game on Tuesday.
_ Correspondent Carey Freeman contributed to this report.