The under-14 St. Pete Raiders and the under-13 Countryside Lightning advance to regional tournaments.
By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 10, 2001
Two local girls soccer teams won Florida Youth Soccer Association State Cup titles recently in Weston.
The under-14 St. Pete Raiders defeated the Palm Beach United 3-0 in the semifinals and the Central Florida United Phoenix-Kumba 1-0 for the championship.
The title-match win avenged a defeat in last year's semifinals.
The Raiders went 2-1 in the first round of State Cup qualifying and 3-0 in the second round, defeating the Jacksonville Fury 5-0, the Clearwater Chargers 2-0 and the Renegades 2-1.
For the tournament, the Raiders won seven of eight games and outscored their opponents 24-3.
The Raiders advance to the regional June 21-26 in Memphis, Tenn. The winner of the 12-team regional tournament for state champions from the Southeast earns a berth in the national tournament, which is July 23-29 in Lawrenceville, Ind.
The under-13 Countryside Lightning also captured the State Cup title, winning the state championship for the second consecutive year.
The Lightning defeated the Manatee Magic 6-0 in the semifinals and the Weston Lightning 3-2 in the final.
In the semifinal, the Lightning set the tone immediately on Courtney Whidden's goal 24 seconds into the match.
Gabi Rivera added two goals in the Lightning rout.
Countryside jumped ahead in the title match as well. Chelsea Zimmerman and Vanessa Rangel scored in the first 15 minutes for a 2-0 lead.
Weston scored a few minutes before halftime to make it 2-1, and it tied the game midway through the second half on a penalty kick. A few minutes later, Vanessa Rangel scored the game-winner for Countryside on an assist from Annie Stalzer off of a corner kick.
Goalkeeper Julia Wiedor preserved the win for Countryside.