Boys soccer: No. 4 King's Academy shuts down No. 3 Benjamin
Friday, January 25, 2013
by Steve Dorsey
King's Academy jubilantly hoisted the District 12-2A championship trophy Friday night after the Lions stunned previously unbeaten Benjamin 4-0 at Theofilos Field.
The victory avenged a 1-0 regular-season loss to third-ranked Benjamin two weeks ago and secured fourth-ranked King's Academy home-field advantage for the first round of the Class 2A regional playoffs Wednesday.
King's improved to 18-5, while Benjamin lost for the first time in 20 matches this season that included two ties.
"They were loose and ready to go," King's Academy coach Jerry Barrantes said of his team. "They're the defending district champions and they didn't want it taken away from them."
The Lions had a 1-0 lead at halftime and dominated the final 40 minutes by scoring three goals in the second half.
Bobby Pappas scored the Lions' first goal in the 29th minute when he drilled a shot from about 18 yards out after taking a perfectly placed pass from Pedro Ojeda in front of the Benjamin goal.
King's Academy had a decisive 11-2 advantage in shots-on-goal in the first half, but seven saves by Benjamin goalkeeper Kody Ruedisili kept the Bucs in the game.
When Austin Masi scored in the 57th minute to give King's Academy a 2-0 lead, it appeared to demoralize the Bucs. Ojeda again delivered the assist on Masi's goal, which the senior took on a breakaway and nailed from point-blank range that Ruedisili had little chance of stopping.
Four minutes later, Lucas DaSilva fired another shot past Ruedisili from about 25 yards out that caught the left side of the net for a 3-0 Lions lead.
"We were just looking for (goal) No. 2 because I felt like if we got it, that would be (the game)," Barrantes said, adding that he felt the intensity level of his players was higher than the last meeting between the district rivals.
The Lions were not finished, however. Masi struck again with a goal into the right side of the net on a shot from 20 yards out with 10 minutes remaining in the game, setting off a victory celebration in the stands by the King's Academy fans.
"It's going to hurt, but we have to get past it," Benjamin coach Bill Whittaker said of the Bucs' first loss. "We haven't experienced this this year, but to (King's) credit, they outplayed us from the get-go."
Benjamin won a tough 2-1 match against Cardinal Newman in the district semifinals Thursday night, and the Bucs were outshot by King's 19-8 in the championship game and were stymied by King's Academy's defense most of the contest.
Boca Raton 5, John I. Leonard 1: Gio DiMauro scored two goals and Hugo Navarro and Tomer Bitton each had two assists as the Bobcats (22-2) routed the Lancers for their 11th consecutive district championship in Boca Raton.
Palm Beach Gardens 3, Wellington 1: The fifth-seeded Gators completed a surprising week by stopping the Wolverines and capturing the district championship in Wellington.
Port St. Lucie 1, Martin County 0: Julian Giraldo scored a goal off an assist from Kevin Marques to help the Jaguars (14-3-6) edge the Tigers in Royal Palm Beach. Jesus Garcia had 12 saves in the win for the Jaguars, who advance to host Sebastian River in Wednesday's regional quarterfinals.
Boynton Beach 3, Okeechobee 0: The top-seeded Tigers shut down the second-seeded Brahmans in Jensen Beach.
Coconut Creek-North Broward Prep 3, No. 2 American Heritage 2: Braxton Suster and Christian Perez each scored a goal, but the Stallions (18-5-4) fell to the Eagles in Delray Beach.
No. 7 Trinity Christian 2, Jupiter Christian 0: Gerritson Craane and Junior Jaramillo each scored a goal and Nick Nedd had five saves while recording his 11th shutout as the Warriors (18-0) captured the district championship in Lake Worth. Trinity will host a regional quarterfinal at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.