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Wesley Chapel rallies for key win

The Wildcats score three in the second half for a 3-2 win, tying a school record with 10 this season.

STEVE LEE
Published January 17, 2004

HUDSON - In the games within a game, host Hudson won the first Friday and Wesley Chapel the second.

Theoretically.

Wesley Chapel erased a 2-0 halftime deficit for a 3-2 comeback win in a pivotal Class 4A, District 10 matchup at Cobra Stadium.

"It was two different halves," Wesley Chapel coach Brian Dorkowski said. "They totally dominated play in the first half."

"They had nothing in the first half," Hudson coach Ron Ladimir said of the Wildcats. "They picked it up with more intensity in the second half."

Wesley Chapel (10-4-4, 4-1-3 in 4A-10) tied a school record for wins by defeating its bitter rival. A fight marred a scoreless tie in the first meeting Dec. 10, resulting in two Hudson players being suspended.

Gabe Montelongo scored Wesley Chapel's goals. The senior midfielder, who has two hat tricks in the past three games and eight goals this week, has 24 goals and 54 points, both school records.

Montelongo's first goal came on a penalty kick after a collision with Hudson goalkeeper Travis Miller in the 47th minute.

"Once we got that goal on a penalty kick it really seemed to spring us," Dorkowski said.

Montelongo converted a head pass from Bryan Sumner to tie it at 2 and headed in the go-ahead goal on a corner kick from Sumner in the 87th minute.

"Gabe's bigger and stronger than most kids, so he can win the ball in the air," Dorkowski said of the 6-foot-2 Montelongo.

Both teams missed scoring opportunities in the final minutes. Montelongo hit the left post and Hudson midfielder Michael Pollock banked a shot off the crossbar.

Goalkeeper Jon Heiser, a freshman transfer from Massachusetts, got his first win in his first start.

"He played good," Dorkowski said of Heiser, a replacement for Scott St. George, who injured a shoulder Thursday while playing basketball in a physical education class.

Hudson (9-6-2, 5-3-1) took a 2-0 lead on David Connors' fourth and fifth goals. Connors converted a cross from Will Smith for one and deflected in a loose ball out front for another.

"We had plenty of opportunities in the first half," Ladimir said. "We should have been up 5-0."

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