BRANDON - Gaither and Brandon fought a boys midfield battle. And a midfielder scored the only goal in the Eagles' 1-0 victory on Friday.
The goal came with a little more than seven minutes left on a right-footed shot from just outside the box by junior Andy Skiffington.
"Our kids played with a lot of heart against a great team," Brandon coach Allen Ware said. "It is that time of the season where we need to play well but a little early to peak. It was a great match."
Neither team took control of the game because of the great play, good ball-handling and tight marking of the midfielders.
From the beginning, the game was aggressive and physical. Three yellow cards, two against Gaither, were issued.
Although it created numerous chances, Gaither managed only three shots on goal. Brandon managed only eight, six during the second half.
"Two good teams with great midfields didn't leave much room for scoring," Gaither coach Eric Sims said. "Our kids didn't seem to get serious until after Brandon scored."
Gaither won the girls game 6-0 to improve to 9-2-3. Carey Hummel and Shanna Pace scored two goals and Caitlyn Bliss and Isabel Rivera one. The Cowboys outshot the Eagles 19-1.
"We scored some nice goals and allowed most of our players to get some time on the field," Gaither coach Diane Sumner said.
"We need to work on our finishing, though."Raven boys hold off Lions 1-0
TAMPA - Alonso's boys made a first-half goal stand up to defeat King 1-0.
"They're a good team," Ravens coach Ray DiPompo said. "And it was a good win that we needed."
The only goal came during the first half when junior Armando Romero moved the ball upfield and sent a left hook into the net.
Just before Romero's goal, Luis Vale's bicycle kick missed and was followed by another shot that went in but was waved off because of a foul.
King had chances but sent many shots over the net, including one that landed on top of the net. The Lions' last good chance came with three minutes left when midfielder Brian Kirk sent it just over the goal.
In the last two minutes, each team received a yellow card, and the Ravens maintained possession to deny the Lions a final chance. A corner kick almost was headed into the net but was saved by Sanel Boric, who made 10 saves.
- GRACE AGOSTIN