Ranch boysclaim 2ndtitle in row
The Lakewood Ranch boys soccer team overcame an early 2-0 deficit and rallied for a 3-2 victory Thursday at North Port to claim the Class 4A-District 11 championship.
Martin Martinez scored the go-ahead goal with about 10 minutes remaining for the Mustangs (11-7-6), who claimed their second straight district title. Ryan Sollazzo and Bobby Photos also scored for Lakewood Ranch.
Liam Branley made 12 saves, including several crucial stops in the waning minutes.
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"We're peaking at the right time," Ranch head coach Vito Bavaro said. "We've been fighting the injury bug all year. We're firing on all cylinders."
Lakewood Ranch advance to the region quarterfinal Thursday. The Mustangs will host the loser of the District 12 final between Fort Myers and Naples Gulf Coast.
LARGO 8, SOUTHEAST 0 -- The Seminoles couldn't take any offense because the Packers wasn't giving any.
Largo crushed the Southeast defense, controlled possession and punched its ticket to the next round of Class 3A-Region 3 playoff action with a mercy-rule victory.
Missing Daryl Bell (37 goals, 63 percent of her team's scoring) had to have an impact, but one had a feeling this wasn't going to be a close game regardless. The Seminoles bowed out at 12-5.
FORT MYERS RIVERDALE 2, BRADEN RIVER 1 -- Clinging to a 1-0 lead deep into the second half of the Class 4A-Region 3 quarterfinals, Riverdale fended off a flurry of shots from the visiting Pirates before a sudden bounce and a charge the other way made room for the would-be game-winning goal off the foot of Jessica Pingry in the 67th minute.
The late goal was a sigh of relief for the home crowd as the Braden River Pirates fired 22 shots in total, four on net, and only scored once on goalkeeper Daisha Wendorf in the 71st minute.
Riverdale's Mariah Marrero opened up the game's scoring with a blast in the 27th minute, sending the Raiders into defense mode over the next 40 minutes until Pingry's goal with 13 minutes to go.
But the Pirates would not be sent home quietly as just four minutes later, Carly Provan sent a cannon into the corner of the net to cut Riverdale's lead to 2-1.
"I'm disappointed," said Braden River coach Don Engelberger. "I think we played well and had plenty of opportunities but we didn't capitalize on them. They did."
SOUTHEAST 59, MANATEE 44 -- Ronald Taylor led the way with 21 points as the visiting Seminoles improved to 14-8 by beating the Hurricanes.
Tre Alexandrea had six assists, and Lucas Shipp contributed eight points for Southeast.
RIVERVIEW 75, PALMETTO 73 -- Jarrid Rhodes scored 28 points but the host Tigers fell short against the Rams.
Stepvon Saunders had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Tre Clark had 12 points for the Tigers (16-5).
SOUTHEAST 57, PALMETTO 31 -- The host Seminoles placed four players in double figures on the way to their 19th consecutive victory.
Keshawna Robinson scored 14 points, DeAngela Mathis had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Bevin Mays knocked in 11 points, and Breyonna Reed had 10 points. Janelle Gould added 10 rebounds and eight assists.
BRADENTON CHRISTIAN 54, TAMPA HEAT 25 -- Sophie Giardina and Katie Swaagman each poured in 18 points for the host Panthers (11-12).
-- Herald staff reports