Girls soccer | Familiar foe Osceola takes down Palmetto in region semis

Osceola too much for Palmetto

jlembo@bradenton.comJanuary 26, 2013 

SEMINOLE -- Palmetto's girls soccer season came to a close at the hands of a familiar foe Friday night.

The Tigers lost 4-1 to Seminole Osceola in a Class 3A-Region 3 semifinal, sending the Tigers home with a record of 13-5-3.

The Warriors (18-1-1) play for the regional championship at 7 p.m. Jan. 29 against either Cape Coral Mariner or Fort Myers Riverdale.

The last two meetings between the Tigers and Warriors were close.

They played to a tie during the regular season before Osceola scored a 1-0 win in double overtime last week during the District 10 title game.

Osceola didn't wait that long this time, taking a 1-0 lead during the game's 23rd minute, when Rebecca Dirks scored on an assist from Cassidy Reich.

Dirks, a sophomore, scored the game winner during last week's championship match.

Reich took care of the scoring nine minutes later, netting a free kick to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead heading into half.

It was a lead they had no trouble padding, as Dirks struck again less than 40 seconds after the respite.

Palmetto goalie Ashton Knopf, who left the game after taking a shot to the ribs during Osceola's first goal, returned to net after the Warriors took a 3-0 lead.

Knopf had three saves after returning.

Palmetto did get on the board not long after Dirks' second goal when Tanya Campos scored on a free kick from more than 25 yards out, making the score 3-1 with roughly 30 minutes remaining.

But the Tigers never seriously threatened again, and the Warriors added another when Palmetto netted an own goal midway through the half.

Osceola made the state semifinals last season, when the Warriors lost to Plantation American Heritage in the final four.

Palmetto advanced to the region semi in dramatic fasion on Wednesday night, when Campos, a freshman, scored on a penalty kick at the end of the first overtime to seal a 1-0 victory over the host Tampa Robinson Knights.

Palmetto entered the postseason as the district's No. 1 seed ahead of rival Osceola after turning in the best record during the regular season.

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