By LINDA ROTHSTEIN
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 30, 2000
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Ridgewood didn't even have to step on the field Friday to claim the Ridgewood Rams Winter Classic title.
Gulf, also undefeated in the tournament, failed to beat Dunedin by 10 goals, giving Ridgewood the title via goal differential.
"It feels great," Ridgewood interim coach Tony Koutsos said. "We knew that they were going to come out here and score as many goals as they could. And I don't know where Dunedin came out, but they're playing good soccer.
"We came here as a team to see if Dunedin could hold out, and they did. I'm so proud of them. All the guys love it."
Ridgewood defeated Dunedin 10-1 on the first day then downed Lake Region 4-2 on Thursday.
Gulf beat Lake Region 4-2 Thursday then defeated Dunedin 4-0 Friday to take second. "We'll take the win, and we got a shutout. But we were pushing too hard to get 10 goals," Gulf coach Sam Koleduk said.
The Bucs scored a minute into the game when Alex Maric put in a rebound off Dunedin goalie A.J. Littlepage. Gulf's Drew Roberts extended the lead to 2-0 early in the second half, scoring a goal from inside the box. Chad Greatorex scored another from 10 yards out about 15 minutes later, and Adam Stosur put in the fourth goal with five minutes left on a breakaway.
Lake Region dominated Wesley Chapel in the first half, scoring three goals and rarely allowing the Wildcats to cross midfield on its way to a 4-1 win.
Lake Region consistently beat Wesley Chapel to the ball, thwarting any scoring chances. Wesley Chapel perked up in the second half.
Brett Eisenbrown scored on a penalty kick in the 60th minute after Trent Cooper was tackled inside of the box.
"The second half, we started getting together, started moving the ball on the ground, getting some pressure," Wesley Chapel coach Jimmy Hymiller said. "The second half was okay."