Boys soccer: Hunter Bandy's hat trick helps Boca Raton advance
Saturday, February 02, 2013
by Post Staff
Boca Raton senior Hunter Bandy is on a mission to lead the Bobcats to a state championship, and the Wake Forest signee delivered that message loud and clear Saturday night.
Bandy connected for a hat trick and quickly punched the Bobcats' ticket to the Class 5A regional finals with a dominating 4-0 victory against visiting Palm Beach Gardens in the regional semifinals.
Boca Raton (24-2) will face Coral Springs-Taravella in the regional finals Tuesday. It's the second consecutive shutout for the Bobcats in the regional playoffs, following a 3-0 win against Wellington in the quarterfinals.
Boca Raton scored two goals to start the game in less time than it took for the national anthem to be performed.
Bandy lofted a ball from the left side over Gardens goalkeeper John Noelsaint less than two minutes into the match, and a minute later, freshman Mark Faeth drilled a point-blank shot into the back of the net from 15 yards out for a quick 2-0 Bobcats lead.
Bandy struck again in the fifth minute when he scored off an assist from Matt Laux to give Boca Raton a commanding 3-0 lead before the players had barely broken a sweat, as the Bobcats connected for goals on three of their first four shots.
Bandy registered a hat trick, the second of his high school career, with his third goal in the 15th minute to stretch Boca Raton's lead to 4-0, earning the speedy Bobcats senior a rest for the remainder of the first half. It was his 16th goal this season.
"I feel like we're meshing as a team. We're like a brotherhood here," Bandy said. "It feels like we're unstoppable right now."
Boca Raton, which last won a state title in 2010, had 15 shots on goal compared to only two for Palm Beach Gardens (10-10-2) in the first half, and Bobcats coach Marcello Castillo pulled several of his starters in the second half.
"It was good to rest some starters early because we only have one practice before our next game," Castillo said. "Tonight was a perfect sign they're focused on getting to state."
Martin County 2, Sebastian River 0: C.W. Menifee and Rielee Mohsin each scored a goal to lead the Tigers (19-3-3) over the Sharks (13-2-6) in Sebastian. The Tigers will play at Fort Lauderdale High in Tuesday's regional final.
American Heritage 1, Coconut Creek-North Broward Prep 0: Austin Mills scored the only goal to lift the Stallions (20-5-4) over the Eagles in Coconut Creek. Heritage advances to Tuesday's regional finals.
Melbourne Central Catholic 4, Trinity Christian 1: Gerritson Craane scored a goal, but the Warriors (19-1) fell to the Hustlers in Lake Worth.