A goal in the ninth minute by Josie Koretchko and a stacked backline on defense helped Lakeland Christian defeat Tampa Prep, 1-0, in the Class 1A-Region 2 final Tuesday night.
Lakeland Christian (21-4-2) senior Ellen Sharpe sent a corner kick into the box where a waiting Koretchko flicked in the decider as the Vikings prevented the Terrapins from making their fifth consecutive trip to the state final four.
Tampa Prep (18-2-4) did just about everything right in the second half as its offense dominated. However, opportunities went nowhere as an extra defender stopped strings of passes, and shots couldn't find the mark.
After spending most of the second half with the ball, the Terrapins had some late chances. Colby Maffei had four of the Terrapins' shots on goal, including a run in the 73rd minute where the LSU-commit split two defenders, drew out the keeper and went around her, slightly mishandling the ball before sending a shot into the side of the net.
The Terrapins' bad breaks continued as a handball went uncalled in the box on Lakeland Christian, followed by a goal from Alexandra Daley that was waved off on an offsides call.
At times in the second half, Tampa Prep contended with eight defenders.
"They packed it in and did everything they had to do to beat us," Terrapins coach Cindy Schofield said. "I just wanted to weather the storm early and get through it, but we couldn't get past their defenders."
Schofield addressed the Terrapins' success for the past four seasons and said the team eventually will look back on a region final run as a successful year, but immediately after the match, admitted spirits were low.
"We've set the bar so high that to not be in the final four is disappointing," Schofield said. "And I like that for our program, and this will drive us in the future. In a couple of days, they'll be able to look back and think about how well they did this year."
3A-2: River Ridge eliminated, 5-1
Twins Lauren and Brook Smith scored all five goals as Eustis defeated River Ridge, 5-1, in the Class 3A-Region 2 final.
River Ridge finished 16-6-2.
Lauren Smith scored the game's first goal in the 37th minute. She added a goal on a header in the 38th minute. Her final goal came in the 52nd minute.
Twin sister Brooke faked the goalkeeper out and scored the third goal in the 49th minute. She also took an assist from Bonnie Sutton to score the final goal.
Both Smiths have verbally committed to the University of Florida.
River Ridge's Nicole Screnock scored from 5-yards out in the game's 71st minute.
"They (Eustis) had some quality players,'' said River Ridge coach Skip Glover. "I'm proud of the way (we) didn't quit. This is the farthest we have gone."