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TAMPA -- Hudson coach Ron Ladimir knew his team would be challenged in the Puma Invitational High School Soccer Classic and Thursday he felt his players stood up to the challenge.
Despite a 4-0 loss to Miami Sunset, a state semifinalist last season, Ladimir praised his players for holding the Knights to a 1-0 lead in the first half.
"We played really well the first half," Ladimir said. "We marked really well. We kept our composure and stayed with it."
Hudson (6-6) plays El Camino (Calif.) today at 9 a.m. at the Ed Radice Sports Complex in the second round of Elite division play.
Miami Sunset takes on Gaither, a 1-0 winner against El Camino, today at 1 p.m.
Miami Sunset (11-2) took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute on the first of Carlos Montemor's two goals. Hudson goalkeeper Kenny Eva rushed out to make a sliding save on Andres Lozano's shot, but Montemor kicked in the rebound from 25 yards out.
Another sprawling save by Eva, this time a stuff of Montemor who broke through two Hudson defenders for a breakaway, resulted in a penalty kick in the 63rd minute. Lozano took the kick and beat Eva to the right side for a 2-0 Knights lead.
Miami Sunset doubled its score on goals by Chase Hunter and Montemor to close out the scoring.
With the game out of reach, Ladimir substituted freely in the last 10 minutes by sending in nine underclassmen -- five freshmen and four sophomores.
"Overall, they held their own," Ladimir said. "You're only going to learn from this."