Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fletcher, Nease Split Beach Bowl

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fletcher, Nease Split Beach Bowl

Article excerpt

Parents dubbed the District 3-5A soccer championships the Beach

Bowl, with Fletcher and Nease meeting in both the boys and girls

finals.

The home-field advantage worked for only one of the Fletcher

teams, as the unranked Nease girls beat Fletcher, ranked 10th in

the state, 2-1.

But the Fletcher boys, ranked No. 6 in the state, sprang an

upset of their own, shutting out second-ranked Nease 2-0.

The Fletcher boys hosted Gainesville last night in the first

round of the regionals, while Nease traveled to Gainsville

Buchholz. On the girls side, Nease hosted Leesburg and Fletcher

played at Buchholz.

In the district final the Nease girls (20-5-1) avenged a 1-0

regular-season loss to Fletcher (15-8-2) with an aggressively

played second half.

Nease came back from a scoreless first half and dominated

Fletcher in shoton-goal opportunities.

"Basically what I had to do was get the team psyched up," said

Nease coach Ron Masiak. "We weren't winning the balls in the

first half. We felt like we were a better team, but we weren't

winning the balls.

"We just decided to go back in and play a little more physical

and a little more aggressive, win every ball and just work

faster."

Masiak's strategy paid off at 26:44 of the second half when

Kate Egan put Nease up 1-0.

"Luckily it bounced off one of their players and went into the

goal," Egan said. "In the first half we were slacking. Coach

Masiak gave us the enthusiasm in the second half."

Fletcher had a chance to tie the game on a penalty kick with

23:13 to go in the game, but Lauren Chase kicked it right to

Nease goalkeeper Tara Thompson.

"That was a combination of a good guess and a bad kick,"

Thompson said.

"I think that inspired the kids to play even tougher, because

after the [penalty] kick, we controlled the game," Masiak said. …

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