Pinellas County's top high school senior soccer players will play their all-star counterparts from Hillsborough County in the "Class of '94 Soccer Challenge" tonight at Pepin/Rood Stadium in Tampa.
The girls teams play at 6 p.m., and the boys will kick off at 8.
The Pinellas boys team features a strong trio of quick-striking, experienced scorers in forwards Vong Phimvilayphone (Northeast), Tito Marcos (Largo) and Ken Tribit (Seminole).
In the midfield, Andrew Seidlecki (St. Petersburg), Eric Case (East Lake) and Jason Kerr (Dunedin) will provide capable support on offense as well as good marking on defense.
In the back, Quentin Melton (Boca Ciega), Bee Vorasarn (Northeast), Tim Cooper (Countryside) and Shawn Stafford (Dunedin) are all smart and aggressive defenders. Goalkeeper Keith Noel (Dunedin) is the only junior on the team, but as a rule, juniors do not compete in this game. That's why Dunedin all-stater Kevin Alvero is not on the roster.
Former Tampa Bay Rowdies Winston DuBose and Perry VanDerBeck are the coaches for Team Pinellas. They will be facing their old teammates Mike Connell and Refic Kozic on the Hillsborough sideline. In the past, Pinellas All-Stars have played against the Rowdies in a post-season challenge match. This year marks the first time that boys and girls teams from both counties have played each other.
The teams have been practicing for the past four Sundays, but according to tournament organizer Fred Ferguson, Team Hillsborough may have the edge in the boys' match. Many of its players have been together for years on the Temple Terrace under-17 club team, which won last year's national title. And Temple Terrace's under-18 team beat the U.S. Under-18 national team 4-0 last Sunday in Orlando.
"Team Pinellas will have to play its best to win," Ferguson said. "Still, when you look at that (Pinellas) lineup, you see a lot of talent there."
The Team Pinellas girls' squad features mostly players from Class 3A state finalist Clearwater Central Catholic as well as perennial powers Countryside and Lakewood. Noticeably missing from the team will be CCC's Robin Confer, who will be trying out for the under-19 national team this weekend.
In Confer's absence, however, Team Pinellas should still have enough firepower to win with the PCAC's leading scorers Tina Brendel (Countryside), 37 goals) and Cathy Nien (East Lake, 22 goals).
The Pinellas midfield is solid, led by Class 5A all-state player Teri Moreno (Countryside), as well as Thongsa Simphay (St. Petersburg), Tara Pickhardt (Lakewood) and Melissa Tisdale (East Lake).
Perhaps the strongest part of the girls team will be its defense, which is anchored by Class 3A all-state players Angela Brames and Julie Schramek of Lakewood, as well as Julie Barrett and Jenny Kudelko of CCC. Sarah Kessler (Lakewood) is able and agile in the goal.
Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children and covers both games. Pepin/Rood is on North Boulevard north of Kennedy Boulevard near the University of Tampa campus.
Soccer Challenge Rosters
TEAM PINELLAS _ GIRLS
Sara Kesler; Sarah Cuni; Shannen Brown; Tina Brindel; Thongsa Sinphay; Teri Marino; Julie Schramek; Cathy Nein; Melissa Tisdale; Colleen Phillips; Julie Barrett; Vicki Loose; Jennifer Carawan; Jenny Kudelko; Emily Clark; Christie Rohrer; Tara Pickhardt; Angela Brames.
TEAM PINELLAS _ BOYS
Keith Noel; Brian Ferguson; Quentin Melton; Vong Phimvilayphone; Tito Marcos; Ryan Masi; Phil Wolf; Ryan Harper; Aaron Calipari; Ken Tribit; Adam Piehl; Eric Case; Jason Kerr; Bee Vorasarn; Andrew Seidlecki; Tim Cooper; Bill Connell; Shawn Stafford.
TEAM HILLSBOROUGH _ GIRLS
Amber Collins; Michelle Joyce; Nicki Curski; Jenny Goldman; Kim Langston; Christy Cook; Tanya Lopez; Jill LaBram; Kokele Covert; Amanda Gauthier; Jennifer Anderson; Shayna Inglesis; Sarah Busta; Kristi Lyman; Heidi Dietiker; Shannon Anderson; Amy Smith.
TEAM HILLSBOROUGH _ BOYS
Skip Miller; Trevor McCarthy; Todd Moniz; Charlie Rodrigues; Joseph Marshburn; Mike Germain;Mike McIlwain; Scott Masturzo; Scott Pearson; Joe Nicoletto; Mike Ripley; Jason Kmiotek; Henry Garcia; Kevin Varnadoe; Marcus Saskinl Chris Newcomb; Peter Janss; Erik Groetzinger; Jay Feely