LAKEWOOD RANCH - Though kickball might be a staple of physical education teachers everywhere, it's not the best strategy for soccer.
But the Lakewood Ranch High soccer team wasn't going to complain when Venice tried it Monday night. The Mustangs used the Indians' wide open style to counter attack at will as host Lakewood Ranch won 5-1 in the Class 5A-District 12 quarterfinals.
Nick Martinez and David Carrillo each scored two goals, and Zach Jones added the other as the Mustangs (12-7-4) earned a semifinal meeting Wednesday with Manatee.
"Especially with this kind of team, they just play kickball, and we just tried to use our skill, which we did, and we dominated basically the whole game," said Martinez, who also added an assist. "We had some early shots on goal, and I think they were kind of scared about that."
In the other quarterfinal game played at Lakewood Ranch, Port Charlotte freshman Oshanny Oats scored a golden goal early in the first overtime as the Pirates ended a scoreless deadlock with a 1-0 victory over Bayshore.
Jones put the Mustangs up 1-0 just seven minutes into the game, and less than 5 minutes later Carrillo scored his first goal off an assist from Bo Benac to give Lakewood Ranch a 2-0 cushion.
After Venice answered with a goal of its own, Martinez took over, scoring his two goals in the second half and assisting on the final score.
"It was a blast," Martinez said of the up-and-down the field nature of the game.
Lakewood Ranch coach said his team kept it simple and when players such as Martinez do that, the Mustangs play better soccer.
"(The Indians) tried to send people, and they left their defense a little exposed," said Kane, who team tied the Canes 0-0 earlier this month. "We got back, and we had guys in there (Monday) who could move the ball and get it out quick and counter-attack."
Port Charlotte 1,
Bayshore 0 (OT)
The Bruins played spoilers to top-seeded Southeast last year in the first round of the district playoffs, but on Monday the Pirates (12-7-2) emerged as a lowest seed to advance - thanks to a somewhat fortunate goal by Oats.
On a breakaway attempt, three minutes in, Oats let the ball get too far out in front of him, and Bruins goalkeeper Diego Collazo stepped in to boot it away.
But the clear attempt bounded off Oats and rolled slowly into the net, narrowly missing the post.
"It was the team who made less mistakes . . . and we got a good break," said Port Charlotte coach Tom Ehrbsberger.
Bayshore finished the season at 6-9-2.