Soccer Teams Sweep to District Finals; 4A Match All-Clay with Middleburg vs. Fleming Island
Kindland, Stephen, The Florida Times Union
Byline: Stephen Kindland, Clay County Line sports writer
The Fleming Island High School boys soccer team took an "ugly" 3-1 win over Ridgeview, and Middleburg continued its challenge for the District 6-4A title with a 3-1 victory over Paxon in a pair of semifinal playoff games Wednesday at Fleming Island.
The two winners were scheduled to meet in the championship game at Fleming Island on Friday. The winner advances to the regionals.
In other games, Orange Park took a 3-0 win over Sandalwood in the first round of the District 1-6A tournament, and was to have played Mandarin in the championship game Thursday. Simon Enright scored twice for the Raiders, and teammate Andrew Scharhag added one to improve the Raiders to 18-4 on the year.
Also, Keystone Heights reached the District 4-3A title match slated for Friday, after beating Interlachen 8-0 Tuesday. Clay had the final 37 minutes of its Wednesday game against Episcopal in the District 3-3A tournament postponed until Thursday because of a power failure at host Bolles. The game was scoreless when play was halted.
The winner will play the winner of Thursday's game between Bolles and West Nassau at 11 a.m. today.
Keystone's Chad Hapner had four goals against Interlachen, and Josh Houser, Kenny Turner, Kevin McLeod and Mark Ferguson each had one.
The Indians have outscored their district opponents 36-2 this season.
They are the school's first team to have an undefeated district season (6-0), and are on the verge of winning the school's first boys soccer district title.
Keystone went to the regional semifinals out of the district tournament loser's bracket last year, and second-year coach Roger Lloyd is looking to make more out of his team this year.
"I fully expected us to begin moving in that positive direction," Lloyd said. "The community has a great recreation program which is key to the success of any high school project."
Eagles flying high
Fleming Island's victory moved the Golden Eagles -- ranked No. 10 in the Florida Sports Writers Association Class 4A poll -- to 13-0 in district play and 14-4-2 overall.
But the win was a costly one. Kevin Jensen sustained an arm injury in the opening minutes of the second half with his team holding a 1-0 lead after Greg Eckhardt scored from close in with 3 minutes to play in the first period.
Jensen broke two bones in his forearm, but is expected to recover fully.
"They were clean breaks, so he'll be all right," Fleming Island coach Frank Pontore said. "It kind of hurts losing him, since we're not that deep to start with."
Pontore said his offense never got into a rhythm in the first half, and that Jensen's injury affected team play throughout the rest of the game. …