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TAMPA - Jesuit found out this week it could fight back from a one-goal deficit to win a huge playoff game.
The Tigers weren't looking for a repeat performance Friday night, but did it again, defeating Southeast 3-2 and clinching a berth in the state final four.
"After (Tuesday against East Lake), we were trying not to fall behind again," senior Josh Menendez said. "We got our heads back in the game. The first goal definitely brought us back to life."
Jesuit (27-2) started the game by hitting a goal post, a cross bar and the side of the net on a wide-open opportunity - seven shots taken and no points.
The Seminoles (19-7-1) needed only three shots to take the first lead. Rodney Fevrier scored after a corner kick. Less than three minutes later, Menendez tied it. Early in the second half there were a flurry of goals. Ali Van Gurp scored to give the Tigers the lead. Two minutes later Menendez scored for a 3-1 advantage. And two minutes later, Isaac Lima scored for Southeast.
Inside the final 25 minutes, Jesuit keeper Max Renaldo made two big saves.
Alonso coach Ray DiPompo said his Ravens had so many great chances early on Friday night "it could have easily been 2-0 after the first half." Instead, the region final remained tied until midway through the second half, when Ocoee tallied two goals in a 10-minute span to seal the deal 2-0. The Ravens, playing for their second straight state final four berth, were kept in the game by goalkeeper Nick Hall, whom DiPompo said had some "unbelievable saves."
"It's tough the season's over but there are 114 teams and 106 were done (before us)," DiPompo said. "So I think we did pretty well."