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The first half of the season was not gentle for St. Petersburg High. Coach Rui Farias, who saw girl after girl go down, said his team was ravaged by injuries and two of the five on the injured list are out for the year.
Midfielders Meggie Ford and Samantha McLean have torn ACLs. Defender Leslie Dentiger fractured a bone in her back and could return for the district tournament. Sophomore forward, captain and last year's leading scorer, Ali Caton, suffered a broken collarbone and might return next week. And senior defender Krystal Plomatos is sidelined with an ankle injury that could requiresurgery.
Farias moved up junior varsity players and the youngsters are proving their worth. The top four scorers are freshmen and sophomores. The team, which starts two freshmen, is 7-3-4.
Defending state champion Palm Harbor University is picking up right where it left off. The Hurricanes are 11-0-1 and ranked sixth nationally by StudentSports.com. They are the top 3A team in the state according to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association.
The Hurricanes play their first game since winter break today in a tough matchup with Countryside (5-6) at home.
COMMITMENTS: Clearwater Central Catholic's Jessica Hallgren and Sarah Sheehan will sign with schools in February. Hallgren plans to commit to the University of Florida and Sheehan, out for the season with a torn ACL, plans to attend the University of Tampa.
Lakewood striker Erica Williams commited to Duquesne University in Pittsburg and Brittney Lewis of St. Petersburg High said she will play at Marquette.
CALL FOR STATS: The Times will publish soccer stats Wednesdays. Coaches are encouraged to report stats to Laura Lee by fax at(727) 893-8782 or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). They may also be phoned in at (727) 892-2251. Please include goals, games played, overall team records and conference records. Stats must be submitted by noon Tuesdays.