Manatee Hurricanes beat rival Venice Indians in Class 4A-District 11 quarterfinal

Manatee hosts semifinal tonight

jlembo@bradenton.comJanuary 23, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Given how well its players used it Tuesday night, one would assume Manatee's boys soccer team devotes hours to the art of the cross pass.

Not so, said senior Austin Poelsma.

"We don't really practice cross passing that much," he said.

Could have fooled Venice, which had no answer for the Hurricanes' attack during Manatee's 7-0 victory in a Class 4A-District 11 quarterfinal.

Second-Manatee (12-7-3) hosts third-seeded Port Charlotte tonight, with the winner advancing to Friday's championship game and next week's regional tournament.

The Hurricanes outside game was its biggest weapon Tuesday. It began during the 14th minute, when Poelsma headed in a corner kick off the foot of Xavier Erazo.

Poelsma and Erazo teamed up again less than two minutes after halftime, when Poelsma stuck out his foot and buried Erazo's cross in the back of the net, handing Manatee a 3-0 lead it had no trouble preserving.

"Me and Xavier just talked in the locker room," Po

elsma said. "And we said, 'Just keep crossing.' (On the second one) I kind of stuck foot out and it hit my heel. I thought I was going to miss, but no."

Erazo added a goal of his own late in the second period. Nicholas Pennebacker scored twice in the second half, Carlos Reyes added a goal and Jacob Titsworth rounded out the scoring for the Hurricanes.

"Venice is an aggressive team, so we talked about trying to keep the ball away from the middle," said Manatee coach Rene Mirandilla. "In the first half, we turned the ball over too much...They didn't allow us to penetrate down the middle ... so in the second half, that's why you saw the ball being played on the outside and being crossed back in."

The Hurricanes now turn their gaze to the Pirates, who they defeated twice during the regular season, including a 6-1 victory Dec. 21 in Bradenton.

The winner meets either top-seeded Lakewood Ranch or fourth-seeded Braden River at 7 p.m. Friday for the title.

"We're a very young team, so we had a slow start," said Mirandilla, who has eight sophomores on the roster. "But then eventually, we started putting things together and getting to know each other."

Elsewhere

ST. PETERSBURG KESWICK 2, BRADENTON CHRISTIAN 1 -- The Panthers' season came to a close in the first round of the Class 1A-District 8 tournament at St. Petersburg Shorecrest.

Austin Ferrer scored off an assist from Garrett Moshier for BCS (0-8-1).

BRADEN RIVER 2, SARASOTA 1 (OT) -- Mitchell McCormick scored the winning goal for the host Pirates.

Fouth-seeded Braden River travels to top-seeded Lakewood Ranch at 5 p.m. Wednesday for a semifinal match.

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