NCT Varsity Girls Soccer pulled out a victory in a cagey affair on Wednesday night at Hernando HS. The Sharks entered the game with an undefeated county record and were hoping to maintain in. Defense was the name of the game for both teams on the night as limited field chances were created by either. Neither team looked very sharp offensively, with turnovers being the most common theme for both midfields. The Sharks looked a bit more potent at times, but it wasn’t enough to break away from the Leopards.
The first half was a bit slow and didn’t really liven up until an error by the Leopard GK allowed sophomore Mia DeRonda to slip past for a tap-in goal. DeRonda’s progress was thwarted by the Leopard GK who grabbed DeRonda and threw her to the ground. Somehow the GK managed to avoid a card, but a penalty was given. DeRonda calmly placed the penalty past the GK, 1-0 NCT. The Sharks looked really threatening for the next 20 minutes until their got another penalty, this time by a Leopard handball in the box. DeRonda dispatched her second penalty by placing the ball into the bottom left corner, 2-0 NCT. The half ended shortly after.
The second half saw the Sharks threatening to add to their lead. However, it was the Leopards who managed to snag a goal after a break away down the left side, 2-1 NCT. The Sharks looked mostly comfortable the rest of the game and were very unlucky to not have scored more goals. The Leopards played in a few balls from the wing, but most of them didn’t find their target at all. The other balls played in were dealt with solidly by the Shark defense. The game ended with no more scores, 2-1 NCT.
NCT moves to 6-2-1 on the season and 4-0-1 in county play. They move to two wins away from securing the county title, which NCT hasn’t won since 2014. Nature Coast also moves even with Pasco HS for the 2 seed in the district tournament. NCT returns to action on Monday as they play district opponent Zephyrhills HS at the Shark Tank. NCT already beating ZHS by a score of 5-1 earlier this season.
Goals: Mia DeRonda (2)
Saves: Alexa Kraus (6)