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Ben Foerstner's header gives the Cowboys a win in the Admiral Invitational finals.
By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published December 24, 2005
TAMPA - There is no denying Ben Foerstner's head commands attention on the soccer field. The Gaither midfielder's hair spills over his shoulders and when he runs, his long locks flop in the wind around his lanky, 6-foot-1 frame.
Apparently, Bellarmine Prep didn't get the memo.
Foerstner's header five minutes into the second half was the lone goal and some sparkling plays by goalkeeper Antonio Cotroneo made the lead stand as Gaither (12-0-2) defeated the Bells 1-0 to win the Elite Bracket of the 12th annual Admiral Invitational at Ed Radice Park Friday.
"Crosses are a big part of our offense and Ben is one of the best at hitting them that I've ever had," Gaither coach Eric Sims said. "He's so strong in the air and he was deserving of that goal."
That statement was especially true considering the events that led up to the winning strike.
On a corner from Trent Anderson, Foerstner went up high and banged heads with Dave Brehmer 7 yards from the goal mouth, sending Brehmer to the ground. Play continued as Anderson settled the ball and immediately delivered the ball back into the box. Foerstner then headed a rocket past Nick Boskovich for the only goal Gaither would need.
"I just work on my timing with the headers, getting the ball at the top of my jump," Foerstner said. "Trent just put a beautiful ball in there for me."
Gaither, the No. 2 ranked team in the nation according to the Student Sports magazine Fab50 poll, then protected its lead by frustrating the Bells' speedy strikers with tight, second-half marking. When the Bells did muster a threat, Cotroneo was there. The senior made a pair of fully-extended diving saves, one in each half.
"The thing about (Cotroneo) is that the bigger the game, the bigger he plays," Sims said. "He organizes the defense so well and they did a good job limiting (Bellarmine's) chances, but we count on Antonio to make one or two great saves a game, which is what he did (Friday)."
Jesuit (16-2) lost 3-1 to Seminole in the consolation match of the Elite Bracket, and Berkeley Prep finished sixth in the Premier Bracket after losing 3-0 to Santa Margarita (Calif.).