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Bears and Eagles advance easily

Central made the most of a shuffled schedule, and Springstead dissected its regularly scheduled foe Monday as both schools advanced from the first round of the Class 2A, District 6 tournament.

Sixth-seeded Central upset No. 3 Pasco 2-0, and No. 2 Springstead smashed winless No. 7 Wesley Chapel 8-0.

Central originally was seeded fifth in the tournament and slated to play No. 4 host Hernando tonight, but because its final district game against Wesley Chapel was not played, it was dropped to sixth. Hudson moved from the sixth seed to fifth.

The move may have helped the Bears, who were swept this season by the Leopards but lost to and tied Pasco.

Central (4-10-2) kept near-constant offensive pressure on the Pirates through the early stretches of the game, and took a 1-0 lead when Valerie Long punched in a goal with 15 minutes, 42 seconds left until halftime. Sprawling saves by goaltender Shelly Harrleson kept Pasco close until Long sliced a feed across the box to Theresa Bergeron, who scored with 4:04 left to secure the Bears' date with top-seeded Zephyrhills at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

"I told them they had to play like this is it, and they did, they left everything out there," Central coach Rob Schenck said.

Springstead, which had beaten Wesley Chapel 10-0 twice this season, often looked sluggish but had too much firepower to falter. Senior forward Angie DeAngelis upped her goals total to 48 with four scores, and Christina Magid added three. Lauren McManus also scored for the Eagles.

About the only thing to slow the Eagles (14-2-3) were the referees, who left both teams standing in the rain as they finished their beverages at halftime.

Wesley Chapel managed just two shots, both late in the game against Springstead reserves.

2A-5: Lecanto ousts

Crystal River 2-0

INVERNESS _ On paper, it should have been much more of a blowout, but Lecanto will take the victory just the same.

The Panthers had 57 shots on goal but managed to get into the net just twice for a 2-0 victory over Crystal River (2-14-2) Monday night.

Lecanto will play Leesburg (a 10-0 winner over Lake Weir) at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Host Citrus will play North Marion (a 3-1 winner over Dunnellon) at 8 p.m.

"To dominate a game like that, we've got to be able to finish," Lecanto coach Kevin Towne said. "That's been our crutch all season. Crystal River played a good game. They didn't have a lot of offense, but they stayed in the game."

Playing in cold, rainy conditions, both teams started off sluggish. Lecanto (12-6-2) scored its first goal at 36:39 in the first half on Meghan Vantine's free kick from 30 yards out.

"I was trying all night on direct kicks that were 30-35 yards off, but tonight I was off," Vantine said.

The Panthers scored again in the 66th minute when freshman Amber Gidden kicked the ball from the right corner of the field and it shot into the left corner of the net.

The Pirates took just four shots on goal, while Crystal River senior keeper Andrea Merrick had 23 saves in the game, several of which were spectacular.

"That's the way she's been all season; we've had quite a few shots taken against us," Pirates coach Ginger Smith said. "We wanted to keep up a strong defense but our offense didn't do anything tonight."