LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Lakewood Ranch girls soccer team was making its 13th straight regional tournament appearance.
But this one was special. The Lady Mustangs 4A-Region 3 opener against Ida Baker had a lot of memory attached to it. The Cape Coral school knocked Ranch out of the post season playoffs 1-0 last year and went on to win the state tournament.
The host Mustangs got their revenge with a 4-1 victory Wednesday night.
"Our goal was to beat them. They won everything last year and we talked about it before the game. I am so happy. It put our self-esteem up so high that next game it's going to be big for us," said forward Taylor Young one of four seniors on the team who were determined to make sure their careers did not end in a similar way.
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Ida Baker, which had four starters back from last year, finished 21-3-1. Lakewood Ranch (17-1-4) advances to Saturday night's region semifinal when it will play host to Venice. The Indians, who lost to Lakewood Ranch in their district final, defeated Naples Barron 1-0 in two overtimes in their quarterfinal match.
The Mustangs led 2-1 at halftime. Talia Falcon scored on an assist from Tatum Young, and Angelical Rego scored with an assist from Delaney Riggins.
After intermission, Rego got her second goal again with an assist from Tatum Young, and Taylor Gordon (assist Chelsea Martin) finished off the scoring for the Mustangs.
"This is a confidence booster. Last year, we felt we had the momentum against them and took about 20 shots, but couldn't get anything converted," Lakewood Ranch head coach Guy Virgilio said. "Last year, they scored on a penalty kick, and we couldn't get one despite all the shots we took. I was a little concerned tonight when they scored their goal that they were coming back on us, but I am proud of how our girls responded and then got that third goal, which was very big. Taylor Young is very scrappy and has great speed. She never stops running."
Ida Baker has four starters from last year's state title team. Its key loss was the goalie.
"We could hide her loss because we still had a good team, but tonight we just didn't play well as a team," Ida Baker head coach Dave Trepkowski said. "We knew we are going to face a good team tonight and were not aggressive to the ball. Lakewood Ranch remembered last year I am sure, but it would've been nice to give a better showing than we did. They had a better team than us, but we should've come out and played better than we did."
Lakewood Ranch had six shots on goal to four for Ida Baker.