Prep soccer | Manatee Hurricanes drop 1-0 opener at Nike Thanksgiving High School Soccer Tournament

Young Manatee squad plays hard but falls to Mariner

jdill@bradenton.comNovember 20, 2012 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- With eight sophomores on a roster, logic dictates a rebuilding year.

Add in that a senior midfield wizard is on the shelf for the first portion of the season with eight broken bones in the top of his magical right foot, and the Manatee Hurricanes should expect some bumps in the road this boys soccer season.

However, head coach Rene Mirandilla's youthful bunch strung together a strong match in keeping pace with Cape Coral Mariner in the Canes' opener of the 2012 Nike Thanksgiving High School Soccer Tournament on Monday at the Premier Sports Campus.

But that effort didn't yield a victory as the Tritons escaped with a 1-0 triumph over Manatee.

"Our passing really was not up to par," Mirandilla said. "We had a lot of missed passes in midfield. Second half was better. We were in their end most of the night. We just had a few chances there where we can just put the ball in the back of the net. Sometimes we've got to be hungry."

Manatee (2-3) is in Group C alongside Mariner, Palm Harbor and Auburndale. The latter two programs have combined to win four state championships

since 2005.

Mirandilla said the Hurricanes requested to play in that group to see how the club would measure up to powerful teams from outside the area.

On Monday, a playoff-contending Mariner squad received a game-winning goal from Isaiah Romano in the 52nd minute.

Manatee had chances to earn a draw, but failed to convert.

"I think we need to play with a little more sense of urgency," Mirandilla said. "Because I think we were lacking that in the last 15 minutes of the game. We weren't playing with some sort of urgency there, and we're not just particularly putting the ball in the back of the net with such determination. But I think we just need to change a little bit of our attitude as far as going to goal. We have to be a little bit more aggressive, and definitely take more shots."

Many times, the Hurricanes were lacking the final delivery for a scoring chance.

Usually that would come from Carlos Reyes, but the senior midfielder is out with a broken foot until at least early December.

He picked up the injury in a club game in Palmetto at the start of the season, Mirandilla said.

"He's pretty much the catalyst in the midfield," Mirandilla said. "We surely miss him there."

However, Mirandilla was pleased with his young crop of players.

Manatee will look to bounce back on Tuesday with matches against Auburndale (9 a.m.) and Palm Harbor (2 p.m.).

The boys portion has four groups of four teams, with the top two in each group advancing to Wednesday's final day of action.

Also Monday:

Girls

BRADEN RIVER 0, CLEARWATER 0 --The Pirates picked up a point with a scoreless draw against Clearwater in girls action of the Thanksgiving High School tournament.

Braden River is in Group A with Tampa Wharton, Clearwater and Clearwater Central Catholic.

The Pirates face Wharton at 2 p.m. and CCC at 6 p.m. to conclude group play of the 2012 tourney.

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