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NEW PORT RICHEY - Zephyrhills and Tarpon Springs will face off in the Class 4A, District 10 final at 7 p.m. Friday after recording shutouts Wednesday.
The Bulldogs beat Wesley Chapel 4-0, and Tarpon Springs beat Gulf 3-0. The Spongers won both meetings this season, 4-0 and 3-2.
Tarpon took a 1-0 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half. Briana Cooney recovered a loose ball from the goalkeeper and scored into the empty net. Goals in the second half by Brandi Bianco and Sara Haines sealed it.
"We have 13 new players this year," Tarpon coach John Freiermuth said. "It's been very delightful seeing them blend together as well as they have. But at the same time, we need to still work a lot harder to reach our goal of going back to the (state semifinals)."
Bianco said her team is ready.
"(Wednesday) was a big game, but I think we're pretty confident for Friday," she said. "If we have our heads in the game and our focus, we can pull off the victory.
Zephyrhills scored its only first-half goal when Deja Dukes converted a breakaway with 10 minutes left. Kristen Vollmet made it 2-0, and with Wesley Chapel pressing, the Bulldogs sealed it with goals late by Dukes and senior Shannon Mitchell.
Wesley Chapel had four shots to Zephyrhills' 12. But Zephyrhills coach Janet Heyman said goalkeeper Samantha Smith was a key.
"Her job is to settle down the team," she said. "She sees the whole entire field and makes sure everyone is playing the game."
Heyman said that working as a team and avoiding mental mistakes led to the win. She likes her team's chances this year.
"They have a lot of heart," she said. "I'm very proud we've been working hard all season."
The Gulf-Tarpon Springs game saw stingy teams fight for control of the ball. The Spongers broke through the Buccaneers defense with 12 minutes left in the first half as Briana Cooney recovered a loose ball from the goalkeeper and scored in the empty net. Two more goals in the second half by Brandi Bianco and Sara Haines sealed it.
"We have 13 new players this year," Tarpon Springs coach John Freiermuth said. "It's been very delightful seeing them blend together as well as they have. But at the same time, we need to still work a lot harder to reach our goal of going back to the final four."
Bianco said her team was ready for the championship.
"(Wednesday) was a big game, but I think we're pretty confident for Friday," she said.
4A-13: Spartans to meet Warriors after OT win
ST. PETERSBURG - Ashley Black scored on a free kick with less than a minute left in overtime to beat Bradenton Bayshore 3-2 and put Lakewood into the Class 4A, District 13 final.
The Spartans face Osceola, a 3-1 winner over Bradenton Southeast, at 7 p.m. Friday.
Black hit a high, arcing shot that sailed over senior goalkeeper Kelsea Bachman.
In the second semifinal, two goals by senior captain Erica Civello propelled Osceola. In the fifth minute, Civello established position in front of two defenders and hit a low, streaking shot from right to left past freshman Lindsey Gregor.
It became 2-0 in the 31st minute when freshman Cassie Bennett scored on a free kick from the right side, looping her shot past the wall and over Gregor.
The Seminoles cut it to 2-1 midway through the second half when freshman Erin Christy tapped in a close shot past senior Meghan Rowe.
Civello sealed it a few minutes later. She took a pass from Alycia Foley at the left side of the goal and blasted a sharp-angled shot just inside the right post.
- ANTHONY SALVEGGI, Times correspondent
3A-9: SPC, CCC to try to break deadlock
SARASOTA - St. Petersburg Catholic goaltender Alexandra Kensler had some pretty brash words considering she's a freshman.
After the Barons downed host Cardinal Mooney 2-0 in the girls Class 3A, District 9 semifinals, Kensler had some words to put on the bulletin board of Clearwater Central Catholic, their opponent in Friday's final.
"We have so much energy on this team," Kensler said. "It's my freshman year, and we're going to win states."
The Barons will have to get past CCC, which knocked off Tampa Catholic in Wednesday's opening game 2-1. Ashley Wall scored twice to put the Marauders ahead 2-0.
CCC outshot Tampa Catholic 10-1 in the first half.
CCC and SPC have met twice this season, the first ending 3-3 and the second 0-0. CCC coach Tom Typrowicz said he is looking forward to another shot at the Barons.
"I think we're playing well right now," he said. "St. Petersburg Catholic is a good team, but we're playing really well right now. We just need to work on finishing our plays."
Wall scored the first CCC goal after stealing the ball in the Tampa Catholic zone and converted to make it 1-0. Early in the second half, Wall received a feed while darting down the middle and scored to make it 2-0. Dariela Alcantara scored late to cut it to 2-1.
In the nightcap, Kelly Tyrell put a header into the net to put SPC ahead at the half 1-0. Kathleen Howe took the ball out of a scramble in front of the Mooney goal and knocked it in to end the scoring.
Meanwhile, Kensler was stopping everything that came her way. Mooney put the pressure on throughout the second half, but Kensler and the SPC defense were up to the challenge.
SPC coach D'Arcy Clarie said his team has been building to this point all season.
"We played a tough schedule to get us ready for this," Clarie said. "We're young but we play hard. We'll have to play our best game on Friday."