LITHIA — With the game scoreless in the 55th minute, the ball rested 40 yards from the Steinbrenner goal. Newsome junior Saylor Webster stepped a few feet behind the ball, and when she heard the referee’s whistle signal that she could attempt her free kick, she felt pretty darned good.
“I knew I was going to kick that ball into the back of the net,” Webster said.
Then she did. The ball thumped off her right foot, sailed high over everybody’s heads and fell inches under the crossbar and inches over the fingers of the leaping Steinbrenner keeper.
It was pretty much picture perfect, but more importantly the stalemate had been broken and Newsome, seeded second in its region, rode the following wave of momentum to a 2-0 victory over the visiting Warriors in a Class 7A girls soccer region quarterfinal.
Steinbrenner (15-6-3) fought hard from start to finish, but it appeared Newsome (15-2-2) wore down the Warriors down the stretch.
“You could see that they were getting frustrated at the end,” Webster said. “You could see them getting tired.”
It wasn’t until the 79th minute, however, that Steinbrenner’s fate was ultimately sealed. That’s when Newsome junior Sierra Hudson broke free down the right side, found some open space and chipped in the second goal.
In the first half, Steinbrenner actually had more shots on goal (four to one) and one of those shots missed by the narrowest of margins, ticking off the crossbar.
In the end, Newsome coach Tina Trimborn said her team didn’t play its smoothest game, particularly in the first half, but she was “extremely proud” with how the Wolves hung tough and never let up the intensity.
Trimborn noted that she really appreciated the play of senior Carson Tyll, who consistently disrupted the Warriors’ play in the middle of the field.
In two previous games this year, Newsome and Steinbrenner tied and the Warriors won the second game on penalty kicks.
“(Steinbrenner) gave us everything they had,” Trimborn said. “We knew they would.”
Games at 7 p.m. Friday unless noted.
7A: Lakewood Ranch at Plant
7A: Windermere at Newsome
6A: No. 5 East Lake at No. 1 Venice
6A: No. 3 St. Petersburg at No. 2 Wiregrass Ranch
5A: No. 3 Countryside at No. 2 North Fort Myers
5A: No. 5 Lecanto at No. 1 Land O’ Lakes
4A: No. 5 Nature Coast at No. 1 Lemon Bay
4A: No. 3 Dunedin at No. 2 Wesley Chapel
3A: No. 5 Berkeley Prep at No. 1 Holy Names
2A: No. 4 Sarasota Out-of-Door at No. 1 Shorecrest
2A: No. 5 Carrolwood Day at No. No. 1 Cambridge Christian, 3:30