BRADENTON -- When Out of Door Academy and Saint Stephen's renew their rivalry Friday for the Class 1A-District 7 title, attrition won't be an issue for either team considering both won in quick fashion Tuesday night.
The Falcons (9-2-4) came out strong, scoring their first goal minutes into the game en route to an 11-0 mercy rule win over Sarasota Christian (1-16-1) in the first half.
Five players scored goals for Saint Stephen's, igniting an offense that struggled to score last week.
"We were coming off a really strong performance against Tampa Catholic, but we weren't able to score which was disappointing," Falcons captain Jonathan Boyd said. "It really put an emphasis on making the most of our opportunities and tonight we did that."
Never miss a local story.
The blowout allowed a battle-tested Falcons team to play its backups, adding depth to an already dangerous squad.
"It was important to get everyone involved and some playing time, keeps the entire team excited," Saint Stephen's head coach Marc Jones said. "We've played in the state final four the past two seasons, so we know how tough it is to win this time of year and having everyone play is only going to help moving forward."
Williem Vacek lead the Falcons with four goals, while Antonio Colacci added three goals along with three assists and Alessandro Virgilio chipped in two goals.
Meanwhile, the Thunder (4-11-1) ended their match up with Bradenton Christian (6-11) on Trevor Gorgi's second goal of the game at the 44th minute winning 8-0.
"Usually we play more defensive-minded, but today we really just wanted to get this game over with and get to the title game," Gorgi said. "We haven't had much postseason success as of late, but we are looking to change that this week."
Even though ODA has only won four matches this year against a strong schedule, it was a calculated plan from head coach George Leicht to prepare his guys for this exact moment.
"We've had a tough season playing really good schools and it wasn't always easy, but it was purposely done," Leicht said. "I did it so when we played Saint Stephen's we would be prepared, battle-tested and ready to give them the best game we can. The guys bought into it and here we are."
Gorgi lead the Thunder with three goals to go along with Dakota Dickerson's two, while Josh Fernandez, Chris Poole and Filip Svoboda each contributed one goal.
The last time the two teams met, the Falcons won 6-0, something their head coach says doesn't matter this go around.
"They are a well-coached team, and I know they will be prepared to give us their best," Jones said. "It's a home game for them, so we will need to bring our best game."