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DURANT -- With dominant speed and ball control, short-handed Durant knocked off district foe Manatee Lakewood Ranch 4-0 in a fast-paced game Tuesday night.
It didn't start out that way.
For the first 27 minutes, neither team seemed able to take charge. It took over 12 minutes before either team could muster a shot on goal.
In the 28th minute, Mustangs keeper Lisa Vander-Kraatstook down an attacking Cougar in the box. On the penalty kick, Coleen Feeney put the ball into the upper left corner for a 1-0 lead.
That goal rattled the Mustangs defenders, and on another Durant attack three minutes later, a Lakewood Ranch backline player kicked the ball into her own net.
Closing out the first-half scoring, freshman striker Gabi Rivera broke through the defense to score from 12 yards. Emily Stutzman and Feeney assisted on the goal.
Durant (2-0) had 18 shots on goal despite playing without injured forward Alicia Tirelli. Sweeper Beth Remmert was also nursing an injured leg.
"Lakewood (Ranch) and East Bay are our primary opponents in our district and I am as surprised as anyone about the final outcome," Durant coach Dick Sheffield said.
"I would have bet anyone it would end up a one-point game, especially with our top scorer out and our sweeper at half speed."
Lakewood Ranch's midfielders controlled the ball in the middle for most of the match, but they were unable to move the ball to the forward line.
The Mustangs (2-1-2) took nine shots, only two of which required Durant keeper Megan Bowers to make saves.
"We have been having a lot of problems scoring all year," Lakewood Ranch coach Gaetano Virgilio said. "We had a few people out of the defensive lineup tonight and our defense has been our strongest part of the team.
"Seems like we were moving the ball well early on, but then lost our rhythm. Durant was definitely the best team on the field tonight."
Midway through the second half, center/midfielder Mandy Anton capped the scoring with a goal from 18 yards on a Rivera assist.