By FRANK PASTOR
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 19, 2003
HUDSON -- Travis Miller quit basketball to play soccer when it appeared his hardcourt career was headed nowhere fast.
Now the first-year goalkeeper is part of a team going places no previous Hudson squad ever has.
Miller stopped two of Orlando Bishop Moore's five penalty kicks, and Davis Hanley scored the winner Tuesday as the Cobras beat the Hornets in a Class 2A, Region 2 semifinal that was scoreless after regulation.
In its first overtime game of the season, Hudson picked up its 21st victory -- a school record -- and advanced to a region final for the first time. "It's awesome to come out here and be on an awesome team," Miller said. "I never expected we'd ever go this far with only four seniors."
Hudson (21-6-1) will play host to St. Augustine Nease (25-2-3), ranked No. 1 in 2A by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association, in Friday's region final.
"Everyone thinks, 'How do they keep winning?"' Hudson coach Ron Ladimir said. "They just keep plugging away and work their rear ends off, and this is pretty much what happens."
When 80 minutes of regulation, two five-minute overtimes and two five-minute sudden death periods couldn't settle the issue, the game moved to penalty kicks.
Jeremy Enix, Matt Bielski and Louis Piscelli converted for Hudson, setting the stage for Hanley's winning kick to the right of Ryan Ball.
"He was going to his left the whole game. It seems he can dive better that way," Hanley said. "I was aiming for the left anyway. When I saw him moving, I knew."
ST. AUGUSTINE -- Nathan Sturgis scored twice to lead No. 1-ranked St. Augustine Nease to a 3-1 victory against Wesley Chapel.
"We gave them a run for their money," Wildcats coach Brian Dorkowski said. "Nease is a great team. They had the ball most of the time. All their players are fast, and they just have all-around game."
Sturgis' first goal came 26:20 in. He received a throw-in from Brendan McCurdy and banged the ball in off his head.
Sturgis' 23rd goal and McCurdy's 45th made it 3-0. The Wildcats (10-6-5) scored their only goal with 19:28 left when Gabriel Montelongo sneaked the ball past Kevin Gordon.
-- ST. AUGUSTINE RECORD
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Ridgewood advanced to the region semifinals by scoring two goals in the closing minutes Thursday. The Rams' season ended Tuesday when a late flurry went the other way.
Lake Howell's Nick Martin broke loose for two goals in the final seven minutes, turning a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 win for the Silver Hawks in a battle of playoff novices.
"This is history. This is all new ground for us," Lake Howell coach Scott Betsinger said. "You see the excitement. We're brand new here like Ridgewood, so it's exciting for us."
Lake Howell (23-4-2) got up early on a goal by Rodrigo Kaufman, but Ridgewood (20-7-3) answered when Chris Gasparini scored off a Dimos Kalathakis assist, pushing a loose ball in with 18 minutes left in the first half. Tanner Wolfe nearly put Ridgewood ahead with 9:20 left, but Ben Griffin reached high to make the save. Two minutes later, a long pass from midfield skimmed off the head of sweeper Joe Panetta, giving Martin a breakaway. Julio Anazco came out of the box to challenge Martin, who darted left, regrouped and scored into the empty net. He did the same with 35 seconds left to seal it. "They were a good team, very fast, and they beat us to a lot of balls," said Rams coach Ed McComiskey, whose team won its first playoff game in 17 years. "(The Rams) knew that every game was going to be tough from here on out. They have nothing to be ashamed of."
-- GREG AUMAN
SATELLITE BEACH -- There will be no heartbreak for Springstead in the region final this season. This year, it came a round early.
The Eagles allowed two goals by Mike Carrigan and another by Tim McRae in a rare poor defensive game and fell 3-0 to Satellite Beach. Springstead (18-5-3), which had advanced to the region final in two of the past three seasons, allowed the Scorpions (23-4-2) to seize control.
"We played scared from the very first minute," Springstead coach Sal Calabrese said. "We looked like a team that didn't want to play tomorrow."
Satellite Beach took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when it was ruled keeper Dan Calabrese had allowed a save to come loose and Carrigan followed with a goal from close range.
McRae dribbled across the top of the box to set up a blast 10 minutes into the second half, and Carrigan broke in unmarked and scored with five minutes left.
Springstead allowed three goals in a game three times this season, including the district final, and lost them all.
Calabrese finished with nine saves on 25 shots.
Springstead managed just seven shots but still had several chances, especially in the second half, when Ryan Greene was stymied by Michael Watson on a shot within 8 yards and Greg Emmerman missed a close-in header off a corner.
-- BRANT JAMES