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Seminole poses no threat to PHU

Palm Harbor University's Eugene Starikov scored a pair of goals as the Hurricanes controlled the pace of play all night, handing Seminole a 4-2 loss Friday.

"We got out butts kicked," Seminole coach Rick Masi said. "They totally outplayed us."

PHU's victory was textbook soccer: The Hurricanes scored first, they doubled Seminole's shot output (12-6) and kept the Warhawks out of the attacking third for the bulk of the match.

"We knew Seminole would come out and play hard and physical," Starikov said. "We knew it'd be a fight, but we were ready."

Starikov proved that early, heading in a chip from Andreas Lagos in the seventh minute. Jamison Sweat then made a long, left-flank run out of the back and deep into the box before crossing to David Cole for a 2-0 lead in the 33rd minute. Sebastien Millette increased PHU's lead to 3-0 on a goal off a corner kick 15 minutes out of halftime and PHU (12-1) coasted from there.

"We just gave them those first three goals," Masi said. "Total lack of focus."

Frustration also became an issue for Seminole (7-2-2) in the second half and it could cost the Warhawks down the line. Jacob Settle received his second yellow card midway through the second half and the junior midfielder was sent off. But as he was leaving the field, there was an exchange between him and the referee, and Settle was hit with a red card. Masi said he will automatically miss two games due to the red card and depending on the referee's write up, it could be more.

HURRICANE WATCH TOURNAMENT: Palm Harbor University took a two-goal halftime lead and never looked back, defeating East Lake 3-0 in the girls final and avenging its only loss of the season.

Forwards Catherine Brinkman and Thara Salam staked PHU to a 2-0 first-half lead. Hurricanes coach John Planamenta said he was impressed by the duo's effort.

"Individually they played well," he said. "But together, they were great. They're learning to play together and you can see that."

Planamenta credited PHU's (11-1) attack as the difference between Friday's victory and the loss to East Lake (12-2) earlier in the season. He also said controlling the Eagles' speedy combo of Alicia Nalley and Leah Fisher was key.

"I coach both of them in club, so I pulled our backs aside before the match and let them know what to expect," Planamenta said. "And we kept the pressure on them a lot more (than the first meeting)."

Sam Newhaller rounded out scoring for PHU, which meets East Lake for the third time this season Wednesday.

Contact Brandon Wright at or (727) 892-2216