PALMETTO -- It doesn't matter if they're playing against skillful teams or physically brute clubs, the Palmetto boys soccer team seems to find a way.
Same thing goes if the Tigers face a 1-0 deficit.
That's precisely where Palmetto (21-2-1) found itself inside nine minutes of its Class 4A-Region 3 quarterfinal match against visiting Tampa King.
But the Tigers rallied after the first half water break to score twice before halftime, then piled it on in the second half en route to a 5-1 victory Thursday at Harllee Stadium.
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"Our guys demonstrated the skill that they have as soccer players," Palmetto head coach Dustin Dahlquist said, "and the determination that they have to win the game. That's shown through. And we put that five spot up on the board, and we got the backup guys in there for 20-something minutes. It was great work by everyone."
The first goal came from forward Gregorio Calvillo, who turned his defender to rocket a low shot underneath the King keeper's outstretched arms just five minutes before halftime.
Then the backbreaker: A bending cross was spilled into Tyler Lawrence's path, and the senior corralled it before slotting in the game-winner as the final kick of the first half.
"You end the half with a goal, that'll deflate another team," Dahlquist said. "You can kind of see at that point, the next 15, 20 minutes of the game was just played down in
front of their end."
Raul Loera scored off Hunter Brown's flicked header that came via a Lawrence throw-in just five minutes into the second half, and Calvillo completed his brace with his second goal of the match, a left-footed bender, three minutes following Loera's goal.
Senior midfield playmaker Javis Paniagua ended Palmetto's onslaught with a curling free kick from roughly 30 yards that King's keeper could only tip into his own net.
That goal made it 5-1, and the trigger was Lawrence's effort to break the deadlock heading into the break.
"At the water break, our coaches told us what we were doing and what we should be doing," Lawrence said. "We know what should be doing. We were playing their game when we should be playing ours. And towards the end, that's when we started playing ours and playing what we do best, playing wide and fast."
Now Palmetto hosts Seminole at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a region semifinal.
The Tigers' ability to adapt and overcome early deficits is a key attribute for the team as it continues forward in the postseason.
"We've been down 1-0 before, and we just try to stay as composed as possible," Lawrence said. "And just finish the balls we get."