Girls soccer | Palmetto Tigers fall 1-0 in Class 3A-District 10 title game

jlembo@bradenton.comJanuary 19, 2013 

PALMETTO -- As Palmetto and Seminole Osceola continued to trade zeroes during Friday's Class 3A-District 10 girls soccer final, Matt Foy was crafting his lineup for penalty kicks.

"We've been working on PKs for a month," said Foy, the Tigers' head coach. "We were ready."

Unfortunately for Foy, his planning went for naught.

Warriors sophomore Rebecca Dirks put thoughts of a possible shootout to rest when she made her way into the goal box, spun free of a defender and buried a kick in the back right corner of the net to give Osceola a 1-0 win less than two minutes into the second overtime period.

Dirks was lifted onto a teammate's shoulders and paraded around the field while the Tigers slowly made their way to home sideline.

For Foy, it was his fifth district runner-up trophy in six years as the Tigers' head coach.

"Our team is built on defense," he said. "A game like this, all it takes is one little mistake. And that's what happened."

The teams played to a scoreless tie in Palmetto during the regular season, and the championship rematch was just as close, though second-seeded Osceola (16-1-1) had more chances during the second half and overtime periods than the top-seeded Tigers (11-4-3).

Thanks to Ashton Knopf, however, the Warriors

had a hard time breaking through.

Palmetto's junior goalie finished with seven saves, including four during the second half, and made a well-timed jump-and-catch during the first half.

"I'm very proud of the girls," Foy said. "They have really been working hard...They're working, and they're better than they were last year."

The Tigers finished two shots on goal and none after regulation. But they could get a boost for Wednesday's Class 3A-Region 3 opener if Nohely Pineda is cleared to play.

Pineda strained a ligament in a knee during Thursday's district semifinal and scored three goals during last week's quarterfinal win. Foy said the team will know by Tuesday if Pineda will be ready to play.

"Then we'd get our offense back," he said.

Palmetto plays visits either Tampa Robinson or Ruskin Lennard in Wednesday's Region 3 opener. If the Tigers and Warriors each win their quarterfinals, they meet again 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 in regional semifinal.

"The other team, kudos to them," Foy said. "My hope is that we see them again (next) Saturday."

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