The first game back from Christmas Break is always a bit tough. It especially is tough when the opponent that is played has made it to 5 straight regional finals. NCT entered into the game with a record of 7-2-2 while the Gators from Land O’ Lakes started the season 4-6. The Gators started the year with 6 straight losses but had since won 4 in a row, including a huge win over Wiregrass Ranch High School. The stingy Gator defense would match up with an explosive, young Shark attack. It was the Sharks who would set the tempo of the game and limit the Gators to low percentage crosses and shots. The Sharks high speed attack would give fits to the defense of Land O’ Lakes all night.
The game started with a nice little flurry of Shark attacks before the Gators found a foothold in the action. From the 10th to the 30th minute the game was back and forth, the Sharks possibly looking a bit more threatening than the Gators. In the 31st minute the Sharks struck first. Freshman Haley D’Ambrosio got her foot on the ball and flicked it over the back of the defensive line. An alert freshman Kennedy Weissman pounced on the ball and calmly slotted home past the GK one-on-one, 1-0 NCT. A second strike 3 minutes later would extend the Shark lead. Freshman Jordyn Lindsey hammered a clearance from defense all the way to a Gator defender’s head. The ball bounced kindly from the defender’s head into sophomore Mia DeRonda’s path who finished with style as she chipped the ball over the stranded GK’s head, 2-0 NCT. The game would settle into halftime from that point.
The Sharks looked well in control of the game in the second half. They were rewarded with another goal on 52 minutes. After a break down the right side by Weissman, she found the back post run of senior Marina Augugliaro, who slammed the ball into the mostly empty net, 3-0 NCT. The Sharks looked like they would add to their lead on multiple occasions, but the only goal from here came from the Gators. With 3 minutes to spare in the game, the Gators slipped in a nice reverse pass to junior Ashley Doers who finished off the goal, 3-1 NCT. The game would end shortly after the Gator goal.
NCT Varsity Girls Soccer improves to 8-2-2 on the year. They are on a 5 game unbeaten streak. Nature Coast will take on Bell Creek Academy at 7:00 PM on Wednesday night at the Shark Tank. The visiting Panthers will be playing their first game back from break, starting the season 0-6.
Goals: Kennedy Weissman, Mia DeRonda, Marina Augugliaro
Assists: Kennedy Weissman, Haley D’Ambrosio
Saves: Alexa Kraus (3)