ST. PETERSBURG - For the first 15 minutes Wednesday, Seminole played like the heavily favored, undefeated team it is. But the rest of the game was a different story.
The Warhawks jumped to a 3-0 lead on goals from Stefan Cerf, Logan Kelley and Sebastian Thuriere, then held on 3-2 despite late scores from Northeast (0-3-1).
Cerf put Seminole (8-0-1) on the board two minutes in after gaining control of a loose ball in front of the net and sending it past goalie Justin Smoot. Kelley converted on a penalty kick minutes later to put the Warhawks up 2-0. Less than 10 minutes later, Thuriere took a throw-in pass from Jabari Carrington and flicked a header past Smoot.
At that point, it looked as if the rout was on. But, Seminole, perhaps looking ahead to Friday's match against Clearwater Central Catholic, missed one opportunity after another.
In the second half, after a missed penalty kick by Guy Gyorkos, Seminole coach Rick Masi summed up the play of the Warhawks, muttering, "Boys, that right there is indicative of how we've played all night."
Midway through the second half, Masi took out most of his starters and the bench seemed to hold its own until Northeast forward Eric Chanthanasinh took a long pass from Velislav Matzov and scored on a breakaway. Then, with seven minutes left, Bojan Mijatovic followed up a Chanthanasinh close-in shot to make it 3-2. Seminole held on from there.
"We learned a lot from this game," senior captain David Pollard said. "We have to keep playing after we make things happen at the beginning of the game. We can't take teams for granted and we can't rest after scoring a few goals early."