Home turf suits Terrapins just fine

Tampa Prep dispatches area opponents with relative ease to repeat as Challenge Cup champion.

Published November 26, 2006

TAMPA - Tampa Prep continued its winning ways in its annual Challenge Cup tournament, using a stifling defense to win for the second straight year.

The defending Class 2A state champion allowed just one goal in three games.

"We were real solid on defense after changing some things around," Terrapins coach Jose DaCosta said.

The Terrapins came in averaging seven goals a game, but relied mostly on defense.

Tampa Prep (8-0) was never really tested except for the first game against Clearwater Central Catholic, where it held on for a 2-1 win.

In their other two games, the Terrapins shut down King and St. Petersburg Catholic 4-0.

"The team played very well and we just played some great team soccer," DaCosta said. "It bodes well for the future. We created a lot of chances. It was a good tournament."

The second-place game was dominated by the goalkeepers as neither CCC nor SPC could muster a goal in regulation.

When penalty kicks started, the opposite happened as Barons keeper Robert Rouse and Marauders keeper Adam Martin had a hard time stopping anything.

Martin made the only stop on the first shot he faced and CCC's Jeff Ijjas banged home the winner on the last attempt to win 5-4.

The Terrapins landed three players on the all-tournament team in Ryan Griffin, Isaac Karpay and Matt Hebert. Martin was joined by teammate Andy Pioti on the team. King and SPC had one each. Nick Baker made it for the Lions and Ryan Deeb for the Barons.

Puma Challenge

SARASOTA - In the 28th Puma Challenge, which Countryside and Winter Park won, Gaither failed to make the championship round.

After not scoring a goal in last year's tournament, Largo finished 2-1 and defeated Gaither 3-2 in its final match of pool play. Gaither, which was in Winter Park's division, finished pool play 0-2-1.

Ryan Harder scored a pair of goals against Gaither, including the winner on a header with three minutes to play. Harder finished with four goals and an assist in the tournament.

Staff writer Brandon Wright contributed to this report.