A strong second half gives the Hurricanes a 7-1 victory over the Bears.
By BRANT JAMES
© St. Petersburg Times,
published December 4, 2001
BROOKSVILLE -- Central girls soccer coach Hank Deslaurier was comfortable with a one-goal halftime deficit, especially considering the magnitude to which Citrus had controlled play in the first half on Monday.
The theory: stay close, try and sneak one in and maybe steal a tie against the best team on the North Suncoast.
Unfortunately for the Bears, Citrus (8-1) finally started converting all those chances into goals in the second half, and Central (2-4-1) was not prepared to respond. Led by two goals each from Jessica MacDonald and Sonya Segars, the Hurricanes swamped Central 7-1.
"We're doing a good job of attacking, but we continue to try and finish better," Citrus coach Brady Bogart said. "But, that was a great job in the second half. Awesome."
Citrus, which has won seven consecutive games, scored three times in an eight-minute span of the second half to finish the Bears. With an eventual 36-2 shot advantage, that was plenty.
"We felt we played pretty even with them in the first half," Deslaurier said. "We were right there, but with about 20 minutes left, we kind of ran out of gas and they still had gas.
"My team still is very young and trying to adjust, and when the barrage comes, we tend to run out of gas and they kept coming."
MacDonald scored her first goal with 31 minutes, 39 seconds remaining when she controlled a loose ball that was poked away from Segars in the box and lofted a shot from the left side over keeper Natasha Cabrera.
MacDonald ruined a solid defensive play for her second goal less than three minutes later, collecting a Cabrera save off a close-in Jennifer Floyd shot and scoring for a 3-1 lead.
Midfielder Amber Presnick had started the scoring sequence with a precise lead pass into the box, and gave the Hurricanes a three-goal lead by finishing things herself with 23:41 left, dribbling through the box, freezing Cabrera and rolling in an untouched shot.
"Amber does a good job setting people up, and as she goes, we go," Bogart said. "But the other girls are stepping up and making a lot of goals."
Central's lone highlight came with 18:57 left -- on its final shot of the game -- when midfielder Lindsey Butler broke into the Hurricanes box and squeezed a shot by Laura Woythaler. That good feeling lasted about 90 seconds, until Butler responded to a hard -- but clean -- tackle by Amanda Johnson with an errant punch.
Butler was red-carded and will miss a mandatory week of games.
Segars improved the Citrus lead to 6-1 in the final nine minutes, twice caroming close-range shots off Cabrera and into the net.
Amanda Yoder closed the scoring in the final minute by tucking a shot under the cross bar.
Julia Brandtner's score nine minutes into the game had given Citrus its 1-0 halftime lead.
Cabrera made nine saves, but it wasn't nearly enough for a team Deslaurier saw as a strong player on the North Suncoast this season. For now, Citrus is clearly still in control.