First-half scoring burst settles it, and the Wildcats shake off the rust from a 4-week layoff to ensure there would be no rally.
By JEREMY RASMUSSEN
Published January 7, 2004
TAMPA - When Wharton and Alonso last tangled Nov. 25, the Wildcats trailed 2-0 before coming back to win 3-2.
On Tuesday, Wharton again notched three goals and this time held Alonso scoreless.
"(Wharton) played it so wide and quick, and they never stopped running," Ravens coach Ray DiPompo said. "They're a very good team.
"They were just faster than us."
The Wildcats (7-1) applied pressure early and never let up, outshooting the Ravens 23-12.
Three minutes into the game Wharton went up 1-0, as Adam Keaton headed in a bouncing ball the Ravens failed to clear out of the box.
Nine minutes later Wharton made it 2-0, when Tyler DeStadio shot from the top of the box. Goalie Andrew Madero deflected the shot, and Nick Zimmerman was there to knock in the rebound.
Wharton went up 3-0 by halftime, as Madero was unable to haul in David Stoval's free kick and Zimmerman tapped in his second goal.
Despite the first-half scoring flurry, Wildcats coach Mike Rowan said his team played better in the scoreless second half.
"I think we were still knocking the rust off a bit in the first half, since we hadn't played in four weeks," Rowan said. "I thought we played nicer balls and had better scoring chances in the second half."
After a rough first half, Madero made several stops on point-blank shots by Ognjen Perucia in the second half and finished with 13 saves.
The only serious threat for Alonso (7-3-1) came midway through the first half, when Ryan Vetzel's shot was blocked by Wildcats keeper Josh Harrah and the follow-up by Luis Vale was knocked off the line by defender James Sleeper.
Tuesday's win adds importance to Wharton's showdown at Gaither next week. The Wildcats' only loss this season was to Gaither, and the winner of Tuesday's game will be the top seed in Class 5A, District 7.
In the girls game Wharton avenged a 2-2 tie against Alonso, crushing the Ravens 4-0 this time.