Boys soccer | Saint Stephen's freshman scores 5 goals in 8-0 district semi victory

Special to the HeraldJanuary 23, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Saint Stephen's freshman Alex Virgilio scored five goals Wednesday night in a Class 1A-District 7 boys soccer semifinal.

Virgilio's foot and the Saint Stephen's defense shut out the Bobcats 8-0, ending North Port's season.

"We started off the game slowly, but after our first water break, the team was able to get into a groove," Virgilio said.

At the 20th minute off a Jonathan Boyd assist, the Falcons took a 2-0 lead.

By halftime, Saint Stephen's was holding a 7-0 advantage.

"Our guys played well tonight, a real team effort. We feel confident going into Friday night's game," Falcons head coach Marc Jones said.

Coach Jones collected his 300th win as Saint Stephen's head coach this season and is looking to add a district title.

Jeremy Jackman's goal at 48-minute mark gave the Falcons an 8-0 lead, and the game was called on a mercy rule.

Junior Michael Gharby finished with two goals.

"I felt like I was in a zone; my team did a great job of getting me looks," Virgilio said of his five-goal performance.

Saint Stephen's (10-1-1) will host Sarasota Christian (10-5) at 7 p.m. Friday for the district title. Both teams earned a berth in next week's region tournament.

SARASOTA CHRISTIAN 3, OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY -- The Blazers slipped past the Thunder in Wednesday's first semifinal contest.

"They were just too physical. SCS is a very good team," Thunder head coach George Leicht said.

The Blazers scored all three goals in the first half.

Josh Markowski scored two goals for Sarasota Christian, the first one coming off a Gunnar Kral assist.

Kral chipped in a goal himself, his 15th of the season.

This is the Blazers' (10-5) seventh trip to the district finals since 1993. They are 4-2 in those games.

"We played very well defensively, as seen on the stat sheet," Sarasota Christian head coach Curtis Lynch said.

Lynch, who collected his 250th win this season as Blazers coach, praised the play of his team.

"We got fantastic effort from Gunnar and Josh," coach Lynch added.

Out of Door (9-6-1) had a good season, and the future is bright, Leicht said.

"Our middle school team finished (12-0) and we have some young guys returning," he said.

Senior Taitum Lystad finished his last season with 13 goals and six assists on the year. "I'm proud of my team. The Blazers really only had three chances at goals and they converted each time," Leicht said.

Sarasota Christian will play Saint Stephen's on Friday night at 7 for the district championship.

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