Girls soccer: Class 3A, District 9

By BRYAN BURNS, Times Staff Writer
Published January 17, 2008

CLEARWATER - In a physical game that saw 12 yellow cards and a second-half ejection of Berkeley Prep coach Ken Roberts, the Buccaneers came from two goals down Wednesday to defeat St. Petersburg Catholic 3-2 in double overtime of the 3A-9 district semifinal.

With 14 minutes remaining in regulation, however, it appeared the Bucs' season was all but over.

Berkeley (9-9-3) had just gone down two goals after goalie Hope Ellis (four saves) handled the ball outside the box and the Barons' Casey McKeon buried the subsequent free kick for her second goal of the night.

St. Petersburg Catholic (14-9-1) could smell the regional playoffs, but in the blink of an eye, Berkeley snatched it away.

Two minutes after SPC went up 2-0, Berkeley's Rebecca Hurst got a goal back, knocking in a rebound off Barons keeper Kristin Russell (six saves). Whitney Hang scored the equalizer for Berkeley three minutes from time, her shot ricocheting off a Barons defender to beat Russell.

In the second overtime period, Taylor Bayte sent a low shot to the right corner of the goal.

"I was nervous," Bayte said. "I was like, 'Please don't kick it right to the goalie.' "

Berkeley advances to the district final Friday and is assured of a regional playoff game.

CCC 2, Tampa Catholic 0: No. 5 seed Tampa Catholic (5-9-2) hung with top-seeded Clearwater Central Catholic for a half, but two second-half goals from the Marauders' Summer Ewing helped CCC (12-5-3) advance to Friday's final against Berkeley Prep.

For Ewing, the goals were her first two of the season.

"I'm a defender normally," Ewing said. "It's very exciting."