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Charger dream dashed

State power American Heritage ends Shorecrest's trip to state one game short of the final.

By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published February 11, 2006


FORT LAUDERDALE - Chrissy Mastry didn't cry, but the pain was obvious in her eyes. This wasn't the outcome she and her teammates expected. This wasn't how Shorecrest's dream season was supposed to end.

"I don't know if we were quite prepared for a team this good," Mastry said.

Few squads would have been.

On Friday afternoon at Lockhart Stadium, Delray Beach American Heritage showed why it has become one of the state's premier programs. With a solid 80-minute performance, the Stallions defeated Shorecrest 5-0, spoiling the Chargers' first trip to the final four.

"I can't say I'm disappointed," Mastry said. "I could not be happier that we got here. Ending my senior season going to state was amazing."

From the start, it was American Heritage's day. The Stallions (16-2-5) needed only seven minutes to score, grabbing a 1-0 lead on Elyssa Freund's left-footed shot that just sneaked past Shorecrest (19-4-2) keeper Edie Burns. Freund struck again with an unassisted goal seven minutes later and by then it was obvious the Chargers were in trouble.

"That's a seasoned program," Shorecrest coach Neal Wolfrath said. "They've been in these games before."

Shorecrest had no answer for the American Heritage offense in the first half. The Stallions controlled the ball most of the opening 40 minutes, outshot the Chargers 17-0 and had the good fortune of scoring on two free kicks - both from about 30 yards out.

Things weren't any better for Shorecrest on the other end. The Chargers finished with two shots. Neither was all that close to going in.

"We were always a step behind or a step late," Wolfrath said.

To the end, though, Shorecrest fought. And its fans, more than 100, supported the squad all the way. In the final minute, Chargers faithful began chanting, "We still love you!" and then they greeted the players with more cheers after it ended.

"It was awesome to have them here," Mastry said.