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PHU hands Eagles first loss

The Hurricanes score three second-half goals in a matchup between two unbeaten teams.

By WAYNE GRUMET
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 4, 2002


NEW PORT RICHEY -- Springstead managed to handcuff fellow unbeaten Palm Harbor University in the first half of the Ridgewood Winter Soccer Tournament on Thursday.

However, Palm Harbor broke the game open by turning three loose balls in front of the net into second-half goals for a 4-1 win.

Palm Harbor (11-0-2) handed the Eagles their first loss of the season and earned a place in today's championship game.

The Hurricanes will face Wesley Chapel at 8 p.m.

The Wildcats beat defending champion Ridgewood 3-2. The Rams will face Springstead in the third-place game tonight at 6.

Springstead (12-1-1) struck first in the 16th minute, when Ian Haselbarth cleaned up a rebound on a Greg Emmerman free kick.

The Hurricanes used their passing game to maintain possession while waiting for a chance to strike.

Mike Samson found Craig Oakley for a header past Springstead goalie Dan Calabrese in the 23rd minute.

"If you hold the ball, the other team can't score," Springstead coach Sal Calabrese said.

"They held the ball and we didn't score. That's the name of the game and it's that simple."

Palm Harbor ran off three goals in a 17-minute span in the second half.

First, James Erigo rebounded a Brian McGarrigle miss.

Oakley would add two more goals off corner kicks by muscling Calabrese in front of the net.

In other games, Wesley Chapel (4-9-2) held off a furious Ridgewood rally in the final 15 minutes.

The Wildcats led 3-1 after goals by Dave Gillis, Ronne Ashur and Brian Sumner.

Ridgewood (6-7-3) cut the lead to 3-2 with a second goal from Tanner Wolfe.

However, Wildcats goalie Gilbert Montelongo stopped 10 of Ridgewood's 17 second-half shots.

Montelongo has made 26 saves and allowed three goals in the past two games.

"We're keeping our composure and Gilbert's been playing well the past few games," Wesley Chapel coach Tim Reardon said. "He's keeping us in it when they are taking those extra shots."

Pasco (6-7-1) dropped Gulf (11-5-3) 2-1 thanks to a pair of goals from Eric Barnes.

Adam Waldron picked up both assists for the Pirates.

Central (10-3-1) pounded Tarpon Springs (5-8-2) 5-0 in the first game.

Each team was missing five players. The Bears converted five of their 10 shots.

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