TAMPA — The loss of Tampa Prep’s top defender was noticeable Tuesday and visiting Windermere Prep took advantage.
Then the Terrapins made an adjustment and it was so long, Windermere Prep. Four goals in a span of 15 minutes carried Tampa Prep to a 5-1 victory in the Class A region final.
Next up is Friday’s state semifinal with Orangewood Christian.
Windermere came in with a 17-1-1 record and looked like it might pose a challenge, especially when the Lakers took a lead 18 minutes in on Daniel O’Brien’s rebound goal.
O’Brien had a little bit too easy of a time in the middle of the Terps’ defense, which lost leader Oscar Skjaerpe to a foot injury last week. Coach Doug Smith moved Macsen Pritchard back from midfield after the goal. Windermere’s shot total for the final hour equaled its first 20 minutes.
“You could tell we were without Oscar at first. I told the defense that the offense bailed them out,” Smith said.
The offense was unstoppable for the last 15 minutes of the half. Tampa Prep’s first goal was a bit fortunate as Andrew Samuels admitted his ball from the left wing was supposed to be a pass. But it curved toward the goal and drifted into the upper right-hand corner to make it 1-1.
Two minutes later the Terps went ahead on a sweet stutter-step move by Michael Spezza to set up his shot from just inside the top of the box. With five minutes before half it became 3-1 on Shaddy Douidar’s shot from around the same spot then Thomas Van Egemond took advantage of a perfect setup from Douidar and Harrison Horton to make it 4-1.
“We were pretty soft coming out, but we got to playing how we can play and we just wore them down,” Douidar said.
Even when the game was well in hand Windermere had trouble just crossing midfield without an aggressive challenge from the Terps.
Offensively Tampa Prep (23-1-3) let loose a little bit, showing some flair on top of maintaining possession.
Van Egemond closed out the scoring in the 60th minute with a rebound strike.