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SEMINOLE -- Seminole coach Steve Kuplicki extended his good-game hand to Durant coach Tim Sheffield after the game.
"Is this deja vu or what?" Sheffield said as they shook. "It was like an instant replay."
Sheffield was referring to the last time the Warhawks and Cougars met, a year ago in the region final. The game went to sudden-death overtime, where Durant won 2-1. History repeated itself Tuesday as Durant scored in the fourth and final overtime to win 1-0.
Durant (21-3) plays Palm Harbor U., which beat Bradenton Lakewood Ranch 2-0, on Friday in the region final for a trip to the state semifinals. Durant's goal was set up by a yellow card. Warhawk goalie Nikki Paquette, who kept her team in the game with big saves, was given a yellow card with 3:26 left in the fourth overtime.
She made a save, but the referee called for a corner kick for Durant, ruling Paquette went out of bounds. The senior got the card for kicking the ball to the corner.
"It's unfortunate that a kid who played such a great game and kept them in the game lost her cool a little bit," Sheffield said.
Forward Julie Beatty put on Paquette's gear to fill in at keeper. Colleen Feeney sent the corner to Emily Stutzman, who headed it in. "The defense was very confused because their keeper was out," Stutzman said. "I barely had to jump to put it through her hands. I couldn't have asked for a better cross."
All game, the teams' strengths neutralized each other. While Durant outshot Seminole 23-12, Paquette made 13 saves, four during overtime.
"I had to judge my balls perfectly," Paquette said. "I was just on my game." The Warhawks were contained by the Cougars' quick backfield. And early in the second half, the Warhawks (20-4-2) lost junior midfielder Rachel Jolley to an ankle injury.
-- LAURA LEE
PALM HARBOR -- All week, Hurricanes coach Holly Freeman worried about Bradenton Lakewood Ranch's speed.
Still, despite the challenge, Palm Harbor Unviversity knew there was one thing the Mustangs wouldn't be able to catch them in: playoff exposure.
The Hurricanes have won two state titles the past five seasons. Lakewood Ranch had never been past the region semifinals.
The experience showed as Palm Harbor University advanced with a 2-0 victory. Up next for the Hurricanes is Durant in the region final Friday.
It didn't take long for Palm Harbor University to take control.
Three minutes into the first half, Sara Stack hit a shot from 25 yards out that slipped through the hands of Mustang goalkeeper Lisa Vander Kraats to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead.
Palm Harbor University's defense took over from there, preventing Lakewood Ranch from advancing the ball past midfield, much less scoring. The Mustangs did not get their first shot off until the 26th minute of the first half.
The Hurricanes added to their lead in the second half when Annie Stalzer scored her 29th goal of the season. Stalzer dribbled past several defenders and kicked a ball that ricocheted off the right post and into the net.
In all, Palm Harbor University outshot the Mustangs 17-5.
-- BOB PUTNAM
FORT MYERS -- Winning didn't come easily or quickly to Clearwater Central Catholic this time. But a pair of seniors made sure it came nonetheless.
Fort Myers Bishop Verot, a team CCC beat 6-1 during the regular season, stretched the Marauders into two overtimes before star senior Jessica Hallgren finally broke free.
Off a pass from fellow senior Samantha Robinson, she found the net and sent CCC to the region final with a 2-1 win. Next up will be Berkeley Prep at home Friday.
"The emotions, oh my gosh," CCC coach Tom Typrowicz said. "You think, 'What is it we're doing wrong?' It's not that we're doing anything wrong, it's that they're doing so many things right."
Bishop Verot (19-5) mostly throttled the same CCC offense that scored eight goals in the region quarterfinal against Mulberry and even outshot the Marauders 14-10. But the Vikings managed just one goal, in injury time in the first half when Courtney Wismann scored right in front of goalkeeper Becky Thompson moments after a corner kick to tie the game at 1.
CCC (18-3-3) nearly won the game in regulation, as a flurry of action developed in front of the net and a fallen Vikings goalie. But two shots failed to reach pay dirt.
Going into overtime, Typrowicz made an adjustment up front, putting Robinson to the top of the offense and allowing Hallgren to sprint wide from midfield. He figured Hallgren would not get picked up by the Vikings defense on an attack.
He was right.
"It threw them off, their marks were messed up," Hallgren said. "Then, it was just Sam that made an amazing pass."
Hallgren settled the pass and then popped a high shot over Bishop Verot goalie Heather Sloan, who came out to challenge.
CCC also survived overtime in its district final, beating Berkeley Prep 2-1.
-- JOHN SCHWARB
TARPON SPRINGS -- "This is the big hurrah," Tarpon Springs coach John Freiermuth said. "The sky is the limit right now."
Tarpon Springs' limit will be tested Friday in the region final, but Tuesday's contest against Lehigh, a 3-0 victory, was no thriller. "We're peaking. We're playing good ... soccer," Freiermuth said. "Knocking the ball around and looking for the open man."
The Spongers will face Naples Barron Collier, a 7-3 winner against Bartow.
Freiermuth's daughter, Kristen (four goals in four games) finished a Jordan Beyer cross seven minutes into the game for a 1-0 lead. Tarpon kept Lehigh (12-11-2) quiet all night. Keeper Alexia Berg touched the ball just four times on five shots.
"I joke with her a lot on the sidelines," Freiermuth said. "Being able to talk to her keeps her a little more focused in games like these."
Beyer added two goals during the last 25 minutes, both on assists by Whitney Gause.
"It's funny because Paige Beyer is the leading scorer on our team, and she just didn't come up with anything," Freiermuth said. "But along comes her sister, who scores two goals. A great night for her."
Tarpon (17-3-3) had 36 shots and physically dominated the smaller Lightning. "They had a good scouting report on us, and I thought they would play some cluster ball, which they did. But we stepped it up," Freiermuth said. "The fact that no one person is the focus, I think, makes our balanced attack a key."
-- ERIC MUSKATEVC
SARASOTA -- An early goal by Nikki Lanza and aggressive goalkeeping by Callie Raymond allowed Berkeley Prep to move on to the region final with a 3-1 victory against Sarasota Cardinal Mooney on Tuesday.
Lanza scored four minutes in when she took the ball on the right wing with a defender on her back. The junior made a quick spin move to her right, deking the defense to find herself alone a few yards outside the box. Lanza delivered a curling shot that appeared to be going out of bounds but, instead, hooked into the upper-right corner. "It was a good way to get our confidence up, but we knew we couldn't let down after that," Lanza said. "We had to continue like the game was 0-0."
Raymond made five saves during the first half and seven during the second half, including a penalty kick by Margeau Faticone during stoppage time.
The sophomore was especially active in the air, denying a scoring chance in the 35th minute.
"I used to be not so secure with crosses and going into a crowd of people, but I've gotten a lot better at it," Raymond said. "I've done a lot better job holding the ball."
Jannah Yowell made it 2-0 in the 59th minute. She took a pass in the box, faked to her right, turned to her left and planted the ball into the net. And Lanza scored again in the 67th minute.
-- ANTHONY GAGLIANO
Stuart Martin County turned the tables on Bloomingdale, beating it 1-0 in a Class 4A, Region 2 semifinal.
Bloomingdale beat Martin County 2-1 in a region semifinal last season.
This time, it came down to a defensive struggle, with the only goal coming off a header in the 22nd minute.
The Tigers (21-3-3) limited Bloomingdale (13-4-3) to just a few shots on goal, none of which were too threatening. The Tigers haven't allowed a goal in their past eight games.
-- TIMES STAFF
Gaither drove three hours to Palm Beach County and was promptly dismissed by Wellington 3-0.
Wellington (25-4-3) made it 1-0 in the seventh minute on a shot drilled past Kaley Brown.
The Wolverines stretched it to 3-0 less than 15 minutes into the second half.
Gaither (15-5-1) was on the defensive for most of the match and had few decent shots on goal.
-- TIMES STAFF