tampabay.com

Repeat performance

Pasco again wins the district crown, topping Nature Coast 6-0.

By STEVE LEE
Published February 5, 2005


DADE CITY - Perhaps no coach in the county is more aware of an underdog's potential for an upset than Pasco's Barry Grayling.

That is why he warned his players about being overconfident before Friday's final against Nature Coast, a second-year team coming off its first-ever win in the district semifinal (1-0 against Hernando).

The Pirates heeded their coach's advice and won 6-0, holding the Sharks (1-18-2) scoreless for the third time this season. Pasco won 6-0 and 2-0 during the season. "I told them we can't get overconfident, because anything can happen," Grayling said.

Most of the Pirates realized that since they were part of last year's team that won just twice in the regular season before two wins in the district tournament and a region quarterfinal victory for a 5-17-1 finish.

Friday's win gave the Pirates, which led 4-0 at the half, a second straight district crown.

"We could have played a little better in the second half, but it's a district title and that's what we came here for," Grayling said.

Garibaldi Alejandre led Pasco (9-8-2) with a hat trick and an assist for a seven-point game. Alejandre, a junior forward, is the team's second-leading scorer with 12 goals and 27 points.

Alejandre trails Jose Montelongo, a freshman forward who scored his 17th goal that staked Pasco to a 4-0 lead.

Alejandre set up the first goal, helping the Pirates take a 1-0 lead in the second minute by centering the ball to Inocencio Cano, who drilled a low shot into the far corner from the right side. In the 10th minute, Alejandre corralled a through ball from Jose Perez and banked in a shot from the left side off the far post for a 2-0 lead.

Pasco's third tally came at the expense of Nature Coast defender Jean-Pierre Salazar. Eric Manning's free kick from the right corner glanced off Salazar's head and past stunned goalkeeper Kyle Staton.

Pasco's staunch defense limited the Sharks to three shots. Nature Coast's best scoring chance came in the 81st minute when Staton came out of his net to take a 20-yard free kick that was batted away by Pasco keeper Luis Hernandez.