Girls soccer | Manatee ends 15-year district title drought with 5-0 win over St. Pete

Canes blank St. Petersburg 5-0 for 5A-8 crown

jlembo@bradenton.comJanuary 18, 2014 

BRADENTON -- There was no trophy presentation for the home team Friday night inside Hawkins Stadium.

The reason?

There was no trophy to be presented -- at least not for the girls soccer team anyway. A basketball trophy was shipped instead, so Manatee's girls will have to wait a little longer to put their hands on some gold.

"Something's always going wrong for us," said senior Sarah Wasser.

Then she laughed.

Trophy or not, snapping a 15-year title drought has a way of putting you in a good mood.

Just ask Wasser and the Hurricanes, who beat St. Petersburg on Friday 5-0 to win the Class 5A-District 8 championship, the program's first since 1999.

Manatee hosts Tampa Plant, the runner-up out of District 7, at 7 p.m.. Thursday in a Region 2 quarterfinal.

"We've been waiting for it for a lot of years now," said Wasser, a senior. "We always get it ripped away from us in the last game. Finally, we got it."

Manatee didn't leave much room for disappointment Friday, when they took on a quick lead on Michaella Krebser's goal during the ninth minute.

Krebser, another senior, and Wasser each scored twice, with Wasser's second goal coming on a penalty kick and Krebser's on a looping shot from the far corner.

"It feels amazing," Krebser said.

Meredith Roberts, one of three sophomores to score two goals each Wednesday night, added another goal Friday.

"They deserve this - I'm so happy for them," said coach George Ameres, who played soccer and football at Manatee before graduating in 1992. "Last couple years, we were in the district with Lakewood Ranch and with Venice, and although we came out and played those teams tough, we just always came up a little bit short.

"All the seniors, they give their heart and soul out here, and they have the last couple of years. And for them to win it the last year, I'm very pleased and very proud of them."

Wasser attributed the success to how well the Hurricanes (13-4-2) get along away from the field.

"We all really like each other," she said. "All of us have played club soccer together at one point or another, and that really builds the chemistry...Everyone else knew how bad the seniors wanted it."

Winning a championship has been a long time coming for the Hurricanes. Yet according to Ameres, they're not done.

And he believes his girls feel the same way.

"This was a great win for us, but they want more," he said. "These girls are hungry. They continue to come out to practice, they stay focused, they keep putting forth the effort. I can tell these girls are really wanting a lot more. They're going to get the most out of this that they possibly can."

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