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Girls soccer: PHU gets late start but reaches PCAC title game

By BRYAN BURNS
Published January 9, 2008


CLEARWATER - Whatever galvanizing words Palm Harbor University coach John Planamenta said to his team at halftime of the Hurricanes' game against Countryside on Tuesday, the message had the desired effect.

The Hurricanes scored the first goal one minute into the second half and went two goals ahead just three minutes later in a 3-0 victory over the Cougars.

The win gives Palm Harbor University (13-1-1) the PCAC North county championship. The Hurricanes will play Seminole on Friday for the PCAC championship, a game to be played at Countryside.

"I don't know if I said anything inspiring, it was just a matter of tactics," Planamenta said. "We wanted to get our outside backs involved a little bit more in the attack because our outside mids were making runs and creating space for our outside backs."

Palm Harbor University had seven shots on goal to Countryside's none in the first half but never threatened Cougars goalkeeper Cristina Brabson (six saves) until its first two shots after halftime.

Catherine Brinkman scored PHU's first goal after a scrum in the box. Thara Salam corralled the loose ball and laid off to Brinkman, who drilled home her team-leading 18th goal of the season. Brinkman later assisted on the Hurricanes' second goal, finding Zoe Lombard.

Countryside (10-4-1) settled down as the second half wore on, stringing more passes together and putting two shots on goal.

The Hurricanes countered in the closing minutes. Colleen Lynch had three looks in front of the Countryside goal and put the third one in the back of the net.