FORT MYERS – Losing this time of year is never easy, but Tampa Prep’s 1-0 setback in Friday’s Class 2A-Region 3 girls soccer final at Bishop Verot proved especially painful.
The Terrapins (12-9-1) gave the host Vikings everything they could handle during two scoreless halves, but Bishop Verot senior Kelly Reynolds’ overtime tally ended Tampa Prep’s hopes of a return trip to the Final Four and left a number of Terrapins sprawled on the turf in disappointment.
Reynolds capitalized on a brief hesitation by a pair of Terrapins defenders that allowed her to break free. She lofted a shot from 20 yards over the Tampa Prep goalkeeper for the golden goal 5 minutes into the extra session.
“They’re a very good side,” Bishop Verot coach Randy Zavada said. “Any time you play a team from Tampa, you know that’s what you’re going to get.
“But I thought we had some chances early we didn’t capitalize on.”
That’s mostly because of Olivia Marshall, who twice stymied the Vikings (20-3-3) with diving stops.
Tampa Prep began to pick up the offensive attack in the second half, especially in the final 15 minutes of regulation, but couldn’t get on the scoreboard.
3A-2: Land O’ Lakes falls to Matanzas, 1-0
Land O’ Lakes’ best season in years came to a close, as the Gators (25-2) dropped a hard-fought Class 3A-Region 2 final at Palm Coast Matanzas, 1-0.
The Gators were playing in their first, but also unexpected, region final since 2004.
“This was not a season we expected, it just came up on us, but game after game, we hung tough and won the game and never planned to be here,” said Gators coach Vicky King, in her 27th season. “This season gave the girls a lot of confidence that they could play with anyone, and they did all season long.”
Land O’ Lakes saw a scoreless tie broken in the 65th minute, but matched the Pirates (24-1-2) in every aspect: both teams had 12 shots and both keepers, including Land O’ Lakes junior Lauren Arrabito, had six saves.
However, wet and slippery conditions affected the game and players, and King figured it to be a close one.
“We dominated a lot of the game until late in the second half, but we all figured that whoever scored first, or even got that one goal, would win the game,” King said.
The Gators were led by a team-high 27 goals from sophomore Tori Cannata.