Boys soccer | Palmetto Tigers roll past Tampa King, earn date with Tampa Jesuit

jlembo@bradenton.comJanuary 31, 2013 

PALMETTO -- If you want to know how high the ceiling has been set for Palmetto's boys soccer team, all you had to do was listen to coach Dustin Dahlquist's appraisal following Wednesday's Class 3A-Region 3 quarterfinal.

He didn't think his Tigers finished enough of their chances. Their passing wasn't crisp. They rushed too many shots.

Oh, and they still managed to beat Tampa King 4-0.

"Overall, we did enough,

I think," Dahlquist said. "We scored enough.

"We'll take it, obviously. We're pretty happy with the win."

In a reversal from last week's district-clinching win over Seminole Osceola, the Tigers (23-1-3) looked good early Wednesday, taking a 1-0 lead when Francisco Jimenez headed in a corner from Pedro Calvillo.

Tyler Lawrence scored off a cross from Zach Reda five minutes later, and Hunter Brown, thanks to a pretty cross from Gregorio Calvillo, gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead a minute before halftime.

"I loved the first half. I thought the first half was good," Dahlquist said. "It seemed like we had a lot of life. Three to nothing, maybe we just came out a little flat there in the second half and just kind of survived. It's just something to work on."

Palmetto hosts perennial powerhouse Tampa Jesuit at 7 p.m. Saturday in a regional semifinal.

Jesuit won last year's semifinal meeting 2-1 in Tampa. Palmetto earned a 4-1 semifinal victory during the 2009-10 season.

"Jesuit's probably a little bit more patient; Palmetto's very much more attacking," said King coach Brian Dozark, whose Lions tied Jesuit during the regular season and lost to Jesuit in the District 9 title game. "Had we been a little bit stronger, and this is no knock on Palmetto, I think we would have been able to pressure the back line of Palmetto a little bit better. Jesuit, we just struggled.

"It should be a great match."

Dahlquist is expecting a great challenge from the Jesuit Tigers, whose six state championships are second only to Clearwater Central Catholic.

"They're one of the premier high school teams in the state and arguably in the country," he said. "Anytime you go and face those guys, you face a team that's a potential state champion.

"If you want a challenge, and you want a challenge early in the playoffs, then this is the perfect region to be in, because you're going to get one in Jesuit in every regional semifinal."

Dozark, however, believes Jesuit will get one, too.

"That team is loaded," he said of Palmetto. "They'll give Jesuit all they can handle. ... Big kids, fast, they all ran to the ball with passion."

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