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District soccer: Unbeaten PHU avenges early-season tie

  • The second goal of the first half came in the 34th minute.
  • Plant (8-2-5) will play on the road Thursday.
  • The final goal came in the 69th minute when Meg Stevenson scored from 15 yards out on a right-footer that found the lower right corner.
  • The Hurricanes were finally able to break through in the 18th minute.
  • Plant had a chance to tie the game in the 20th minute when Allison Hernandez got off a shot from 20 yards that banged off the crossbar.

LUTZ — The only blemish on Palm Harbor University’s record this season was an early December tie to Plant. In Friday night’s rematch, the Hurricanes were determined to prove that was a fluke.

@TBHomeTeam: District soccer: Unbeaten PHU avenges early-season tie @PalmHarborU @PlantHighSchool

LUTZ — The only blemish on Palm Harbor University’s record this season was an early December tie to Plant. In Friday night’s rematch, the Hurricanes were determined to prove that was a fluke.

After a slow start, PHU scored two first half goals and added three more in the second for a 5-0 win over Plant in the Class 5A, District 7 girls soccer final at Steinbrenner. It is the 20th straight year the Hurricanes (19-0-1) have qualified for the regional tournament. They will host the winner of the 5A-8 tournament on Thursday night. Plant (8-2-5) will play on the road Thursday.

“They played well and they didn’t get frustrated,” PHU coach John Planamenta said. “There were some opportunities that we didn’t get and some teams might get frustrated. We’ve done that before. You just hope it’s a matter of time.”

PHU spent most of the first half on Plant’s side of the field. The Hurricanes were finally able to break through in the 18th minute. They earned a throw-in close to the right corner flag. Allyssa Woodring took the throw and it sailed to the opposite end of the 18-yard box. Abigail Bowman was undefended five yards from goal and was able to knock it into the open net.

“The ball just rolled out into the middle and right onto my feet,” Bowman said. “I just shot it in. It gave us a bunch of confidence to know that we could go forward. It boosted everyone up.”

The second goal of the first half came in the 34th minute. Lauren Accera sent a pass to Alivia Gonzalez 25 yards from goal. Gonzalez spun to her left and launched a left-footer that went over goalie Emma Platt and just under the crossbar to make it 2-0.

Plant had a chance to tie the game in the 20th minute when Allison Hernandez got off a shot from 20 yards that banged off the crossbar. Otherwise, chances were few for the Panthers in the first 40 minutes.

PHU kept up the pressure in the second half. In the 51st minute, Plant was called for a handball in the 18-yard box that resulted in a penalty kick. Woodring took the shot and buried it for a 3-0 lead.

With Plant’s offense pushed up in an attempt to score, PHU got a breakaway in the 62nd minute. Gonzalez ran loose down the middle of the field and passed to Woodring 10 yards from goal. Woodring made one move, put the ball on her left foot, and found the lower right side for the fourth goal.

The final goal came in the 69th minute when Meg Stevenson scored from 15 yards out on a right-footer that found the lower right corner.

“We really wanted this,” Woodring said. “(The first game) kind of haunted us. It feels good to come together as a team. I don’t think we’ve peaked yet, but I think we are playing better than we did earlier in the season.”

District soccer: Unbeaten PHU avenges early-season tie

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