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Warhawks end drought

CLASS 3A BOYS: A 2-1 win in four OTs sends Seminole to state for first time in 21 years.

By MIKE READLING, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 22, 2003

TAMPA -- There was a good reason Seminole coach Rick Masi was having trouble breathing Friday night.

It could have been the cracked ribs on his left side sustained in a motorcycle accident before Tuesday's game. Or it might have been that his team had advanced to its first state tournament in 21 years with a 2-1 win over Plant.

Either way, that cooler of icy water felt pretty good to the long-time Warhawks coach as he watched his team celebrate following one of its toughest games this season.

"This group of seniors wanted to win this game badly," Masi said. "It was very, very hard for us to play on this field. It's like a postage stamp and it's not conducive to our game."

Seminole (22-5-2) scored the winner with less than a minute remaining in the final five-minute overtime before penalty kicks. Joey Brown dribbled deep into the left corner and crossed the ball about three yards short of the endline.

Plant keeper Loren Shummard bent to catch the shot, but it deflected off his hands and barely crossed the line.

That ended a night in which physical play -- there were 11 yellow cards between the two teams -- and shots on goal dominated.

Both keepers were inundated by shots from close and long range. Plant (15-1-2) came within inches of winning with five minutes left in regulation, but keeper Aaron Ingham made a one-handed stop of a well-struck ball on the goal line.

"They outplayed us," Plant coach Kelvin Jones said. "It was our kind of game and we felt like we could have won, but they just outplayed us."

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