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Eagles need OT to reach King final

By FRANK PASTOR

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 5, 2001


TAMPA -- He had difficulty getting out of bed Thursday morning.

Yet John Sobczak somehow found the strength to carry Brandon into the boys final of the King Tournament.

Playing with a painful back injury, Sobczak had two goals -- including the winner -- and an assist as Brandon came from behind to beat King 4-3 in double-overtime at Bill Stewart Stadium.

"Until 30 minutes before the game, I didn't think he'd be able to play," Brandon coach Allen Ware said.

Brandon trailed 3-2 with less than a minute left in regulation when Rhett Soltas played a ball to Sobczak. Sobczak headed it to Josh Wand, who headed the ball past King goalkeeper Joseph Brown.

After a scoreless five-minute overtime period, Sobczak -- who played just 30 minutes in Wednesday's opening-round win over Durant -- headed in the winner off of a Jason Poole throw-in.

Brandon (9-3-2) will play Sickles (2-4-3) in today's title game. Sickles, winless entering the tournament, defeated Leto 3-1 in the other boys semifinal behind Carlos Pinnace's two goals.

"We've never played Sickles," Ware said. "This will be the first time ever."

The girls finalists are no strangers.

Bloomingdale (9-1-3) and Durant (9-1-4) will meet for the third time this season. The teams tied in their first two meetings.

Megan Snaider scored the only goal as Bloomingdale edged King 1-0 in one semifinal. Freshman Raelynn Wapinsky netted the winner with 25 minutes to play as Durant defeated Gaither 2-1 in the other.

"There are not going to be a lot of quality scoring chances," Durant coach Dick Sheffield said. "So when they get them, the team that buries them is the team that's going to win."

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