From here on, the Wiregrass Ranch girls soccer team will try to stay grounded.
However, it may be easier for some players than others. Such as senior goal scorer A.J. Blount, who is actually grounded by her mom.
"I got a C," the USF commit said following the Bulls 4-0 dominating win against Lakeland in the region quarterfinals Wednesday. "She said if I got three goals I would be off the hook."
Alas, Blount, who has 25 goals this season, had only one goal late in Wednesday's win, playing second fiddle to leading-goal scorer Berlin Waters, who scored two for a team-high 29 goals. However, Blount does lead the way with 20 assists, including two on Wednesday.
"We have to make sure we stay focused," said Waters, a Saint Leo commit. "We also know it's regionals, so anything can happen."
That is true, anything could happen tonight when the Bulls host Lakeland Jenkins in the Class 4A-Region 2 region semifinals at 7. The Eagles were down 2-1 to Steinbrenner, only to see junior forwards Lauren Greene and Jessie Scarpa lead George Jenkins to a 5-2 comeback, including Greene scoring three goals and Scarpa a goal and two assists.
"We know that George Jenkins is going to be a very tough competitor," Blount said. "That much we know, but we also know that we have to stay focused and get our game faces on early instead of waiting until (today) to put them on. We have to be prepared.
"Definitely we will get the game face on early and my friend will not want to be my friends that day," she said, laughing.
The Bulls will have to continue defensively, which they did against Lakeland by not allowing a legitimate scoring threat for 80 minutes. That backline is led by goalkeeper Dayton Wetherby, a Navy commit who has allowed only 10 goals this season. And, if this veteran laden team that is still receiving help from its talented youth (freshman Vanessa Jordan: 14 goals; sophomore Taylor Muzik: 12 goals) stays grounded, it's capable of anything.
"That is something I've been trying to pass on to them is that they need to stay humble," first-year coach Eddy Costa said. "I think they can keep their cool and they are just a bunch of feisty girls who never give up. They aren't ready to quit the season just yet."