King boys, Plant girls take two paths to same result
The Lions and Panthers split a doubleheader after taking different approaches to practice over the holidays.
By MIKE READLING
Published January 7, 2004
TAMPA - Two different approaches equaled the same result for the King boys and Plant girls soccer teams Tuesday night.
As Lions coach Vaclav Duda was having his boys work out during the winter holiday break, even throwing in one practice of more than four hours, Plant girls coach Dan Whitis had his team practice Monday for the first time since mid December.
The result was two very important wins.
King scored twice in the first half then withstood a Plant rally to win 2-1. On the girls side Plant avenged an early-season loss to the Lions with a strong all-around performance in a 4-1 victory.
The victories moved each team closer to a Class 5A, District 8 tournament bye as the season heads into the stretch run.
"I've already written the No. 1 seed off to Hillsborough but I need that No. 2 seed," Whitis said. "We beat King, now we have to beat Brandon Friday night."
The Panther girls got goals from four players - Lauren Bridges, Petra Fraser, Lauren Moseley and Casey Munch - and their defense stifled the few attacks by King (5-4).
Whitis said the season series evened as he finally had all of his top players on the field. When King beat Plant earlier the Panthers (5-3-1) played without Fraser, their top scorer. King was without its top player Tuesday as Summer McPhillips is injured.
The Lions boys played what Duda considered one of their best games of the season.
"The defense played solid, there were no balls played back," the second-year coach said. "Offensively we made runs and controlled the ball. We got the monkey off our back."
The Lions (5-0-3) held the Panthers (3-2-3) in check the majority of the game, though Plant broke through a couple of times in the second and fired a couple of shots.
Plant's goal came when Jeff Obi's cross slipped through the hands of the Lions keeper, allowing Alistair Campbell to run on to the ball and bury it.
King's goals came courtesy of James Toohey and Alex Yarnell, who flicked a Kyle Lokuta throw-in just inside the far post with the inside of his foot.