OSCEOLA — In its two previous meetings with Palmetto, Osceola came away with a tie and a 1-0 victory.
Friday night, the Warriors gave themselves a little more breathing room, advancing to the Class 3A region finals with a 4-1 win over Palmetto.
With an assist from Cassidy Reich, Rebecca Dirks opened scoring for the Warriors (19-1-1) in the game’s 23rd minute on a sprinting shot from close range.
After being clipped from behind, Reich earned a free kick in the 32nd minute. Her seeing-eye shot never left the ground and rolled past the goalkeeper.
“The goalie was expecting it to go over the top,” Reich said. “There was a gap between the wall and another player. I just put it between the gap.”
In the first minute of the second half, Ashlyn Irwin had a big assist, sending a kick across the field to the corner of the goalpost, where Dirks put in the rebound to stake the Warriors to a 3-0 advantage.
Palmetto got on the board in the sixth minute on a long kick from the sideline that arced over the head and arms of Osceola goalie Kristina Kulavic.
Irwin completed the scoring with a sliding goal in the 22nd minute.
Osceola will play today’s winner of the Cape Coral Mariner-Fort Myers Riverdale matchup Tuesday.
Earlier in the evening, the Osceola boys fell 4-1 to Palmetto. They will travel to Jesuit on Wednesday.