tampabay.com

One win and Wolves out to conquer their class

Newsome heads in to quarterfinals with confidence.

By SCOTT PURKS
Published January 25, 2007


VALRICO - Five days had passed since Newsome defeated Bloomingdale on penalty kicks yet seniors Hallie Barrett, Meigan Dodd and Casey Plastek were still downright giddy.

"The thing is," Dodd said, "Bloomingdale has always been No. 1 and now that we've beaten them we know we can beat anybody."

"Beating them definitely boosted our confidence," said Plastek, a four-year starter. "It was like jumping to another level."

That may sound odd because in the Wolves' four years of existence (Newsome opened in the fall of 2003), they have always been strong. So strong, in fact, Newsome has racked up a 53-12-9 overall record and in 2005 went to the Class 4A state semifinals before losing 1-0.

"But," Barrett said, "we had never really beaten Bloomingdale. We had beaten them once in a tournament, but not when it really counted. This time it counted (the district final ended tied at 1 in regulation and the Wolves won 3-2 on penalty kicks)."

The rivalry gained much more steam two years ago when Newsome jumped up to Class 5A, which meant every year it would probably face Bloomingdale at least once and probably twice in the playoffs.

Last year, the Bulls, who finished as the Class 5A state runner-ups, beat Newsome twice in the playoffs, first in the district final, then in the region final 1-0.

Now Newsome (15-2-2) believes it could very well meet the Bulls (17-2-2) in this year's region final, but with a whole different attitude.

"We're still not looking past anybody, that's for sure," Newsome coach Kathy Dodd said. "But if we do happen to meet Bloomingdale in the regional final I expect it to be another great game with a bounce here or there being the difference."

The first step to a region final rematch would require Newsome defeating Land O'Lakes and Bloomingdale defeating River Ridge tonight. One more victory after that would set up a region final.

"And that would be great," Barrett said. "There was so much excitement for the district final. The stands were packed and everyone was on the edge of their seats.

"I think everyone loves it when we play Bloomingdale."

Fast Facts:

Girls Soccer Region Quarterfinals

All games tonight at 7

Class 6A

- Countryside (13-5-1) at East Bay (15-1-2)

Class 5A

-Plant (12-6-1) at Palm Harbor University (17-1)

- East Lake (16-7) at Hillsborough (13-2)

- Bloomingdale (17-2-2) at River Ridge (18-0-1)

- Land O'Lakes (12-9-2) at Newsome (14-2-1)

Class 2A

- Indian Rocks Christian (12-5) at Tampa Prep (17-3-2)

- Cambridge (16-3) at Shorecrest (12-4-3)