Girls soccer: 5A, District 7

By IZZY GOULD, Times Staff Writer
Published January 17, 2008

NEW PORT RICHEY - Heavy raindrops pelted Skip Glover, his players and the handful of fans who came out to watch River Ridge advance to its third consecutive district championship after a 4-0 win against Ridgewood.

When asked to weigh any concerns, knowing his girls would face Land O'Lakes (2-0 winners in the other Class 5A, District 7 semifinal against Central), he flashed a look as if his girls were preparing to scrimmage a middle school club.

"We've already played them twice," Glover said. "They know what we have and we know what they have. There won't be any surprises."

The Royal Knights (16-1-2) not only defeated the Gators (12-8-2) twice this season (2-0 and 5-0), but also the last two seasons in the district title game.

The thought of Land O'Lakes even playing for a district title for the fifth straight season since winning the 2003 Class 2A state title seemed remote after the Gators got off to a 3-7-2 start. Land O'Lakes advanced to Friday's game thanks to a fiery offensive attack that produced goals by Kendra Nicholson and Nicolle Forcier. The defense responded by limiting the Bears' opportunities.

"We played well enough to win," Land O'Lakes coach Vicky King said. "We have continued to improve through the second part of the season. That was our goal."

The Royal Knights deflated the Rams quickly with three first-half goals. Knights midfielder Corinna Dyl scored eight minutes in followed by goals from the tandem of forward Deana Rossi and Mikaela Morolla, who scored three minutes apart late in the first half. Morolla added one more late in the second half. Rossi broke the school record last week and added career goal No. 111 on Wednesday.