Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Indians Blank Mustangs

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Indians Blank Mustangs

Article excerpt


CLASS 4A-11: They hand Lakewood Ranch its first loss of season to win title

Gary Bolyard planned a different strategy for the district final against Lakewood Ranch High.

All it took was a well-placed shot to get the Venice High girls soccer team going.

Alexis Weaver's 30-yard goal on a direct kick 20 seconds before the end of the first half opened the scoring, and the Indians went on to score three more goals in the second half for a 4-0 triumph over the Mustangs in the Class 4A-District 11 girls soccer final Friday night at Lakewood Ranch High.

Weaver's goal was the first allowed by the Mustangs since Nov. 19, when Lakewood Ranch permitted two goals in a 7-2 victory over Braden River High.

More importantly, the Indians' victory handed the Mustangs their first loss since Feb. 7, 2014, when they fell in the state semifinal to Melbourne, 3-0.

Winning its first district title since the 2010-11 season, second- seeded Venice (19-5-2) has a home match in Thursday's region quarterfinal against the District 12 runner-up, while top-seed Lakewood Ranch (19-1-2) goes on the road for its first region game against the District 12 champion.

With time running down in the first half of a scoreless match, Venice received a free kick.

Bolyard instructed Weaver to "settle down" and take her time before attempting the kick.

Lakewood Ranch's wall stopped a direct kick moments earlier, but Weaver placed the ball where no Mustang, not even goalie Danielle Wilson could get her hands on it.

"Oh, yes, I like that distance," said Weaver, who scored the Indains' lone goal in a 2-1 loss to Lakewood Ranch in the first meeting of the season. "Usually I get unlucky. I'll hit the crossbar or something. When I saw the goalkeeper reach back. I know as a goalkeeper whenever you have to reach back it's bad news. I'm so thankful it finally went in."

Twenty seconds later, the referee blew the whistle for halftime.

"That first goal was huge, breaking the ice right before half," Bolyard said.

"That was the turning point of the game," Weaver said. …

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