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Semifinal showcases PHU goalie's ability

Jahana Azarian makes five saves, some mistakes as the Hurricanes defense suffers a rare lapse.

Published February 19, 2004

FORT LAUDERDALE- Jahana Azarian often is neglected.

The Palm Harbor University junior goalkeeper usually has little to do during games because the Hurricanes defense stops scoring chances when they are just a thought in an opponent's mind.

Against Satellite Beach Satellite, one of the best teams in the country, Azarian had more to do.

Azarian finally got a chance to show what she could do Wednesday during a 2-0 loss in the Class 5A state semifinals. Azarian, who had less than two saves a game because that's how few shots slipped past PHU's defense, came up with five.

She had her high points but also made mistakes.

The Scorpions got their first goal when Azarian ran outside the penalty box to challenge Brittney Marriott, Satellite's leading scorer. Marriott beat Azarian and scored on an empty net.

"I came out too far and I didn't get her," Azarian said. "If I wouldn't have come out, who knows what would've happened. But that's how the game is played, you take chances."

Facing a relentless offense, Azarian took several chances. In the final minute of the game, she rushed out of the box again to tackle a Satellite player who was on her way to a breakaway goal. Azarian was ejected on a red card.

With the Hurricanes pressing, the defense wasn't at full strength in the second half. Azarian got plenty of action then.

Her biggest save was against Marriott. She was taking a penalty kick in the first half, and Azarian let her know it wasn't going in.

"The keeper was talking to me, "Come on No.5, I'm ready,"' Marriott said. "I wasn't ready, and she read me like a book. It was a great save."

Next year, PHU will return its entire defense: Courtney Whidden, Emily Stack, Chelsea Brinkman and Lizzie Wellings and Azarian in goal. It gave up four goals in the regular season.

[Last modified February 19, 2004, 02:00:25]


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