Posted: 10:10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014

Girls soccer: Dwyer earns first regional victory

By Jodie Wagner

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer


Dwyer moved a step closer to its first state tournament berth in girls soccer, outlasting South Fork 2-1 on penalty kicks Thursday in a Class 4A regional quarterfinal at Blum Stadium.

The Panthers (16-2-1) outscored the Bulldogs 3-2 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 tie in regulation. The teams played two scoreless overtime periods to force penalty kicks.

Thursday’s win was Dwyer’s first in regional girls soccer competition. The Panthers won the District 14-4A championship last week with a 2-1 victory against Dreyfoos.

“They’re just amazingly happy right now,” Dwyer coach Tara Malecki said of her players, who crowded around sophomore goalie Lauren Sowers after she saved South Fork’s final penalty kick.

“This is just great because we’re finally putting soccer as a sport at Dwyer. We’re not just a football and a basketball and a baseball school anymore.”

The Panthers will play at Martin County in Tuesday’s regional semifinals. The Tigers outlasted Dreyfoos 1-0 on penalty kicks Thursday.

The Bulldogs (19-4-1), seeded first in District 13-4A but playing on the road after falling 1-0 to Martin County in the district championship game, built a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game on Tally Zamiela’s goal.

South Fork maintained its lead into halftime despite a flurry of Panthers shots that did not find the back of the net.

Dwyer found its footing in the second half and equalized on Olivia Leavitt’s goal set up by a pass from Stephanie Gavino.

“They just got comfortable,” Malecki said of the Panthers. “They just decided they wanted it and were going to get it.”

Despite a handful of close calls, neither team was able to net the winning the goal and the game went into overtime, followed by penalty kicks.

Sowers, a first-year varsity starter for Dwyer, made three saves to help propel her team into the next round of the playoffs.

“I was really nervous,” she said. “But we still won it.”


Jupiter 4, Harmony 0: Maegan Didden scored two goals to lead the Warriors (14-4-1) to the shutout of the Longhorns in Harmony. Kat Weiss and Alexa Moberley also scored a goal apiece and Hayley Geck earned the shutout in goal for Jupiter, which advances to host Vero Beach in Tuesday’s regional semifinals.

West Boca Raton 2, Spanish River 1: The Bulls edged the host Sharks and advanced to Tuesday’s regional semifinals, where they will host Parkland-Douglas, which shut out Park Vista 1-0.


Benjamin 5, Coconut Creek-North Broward Prep 4: Katie O’Hare scored two goals as the Buccaneers (16-2) edged the Eagles in Coconut Creek. Benjamin advances to play at American Heritage — which shut out Fort Lauderdale-Pine Crest 1-0 — in Tuesay’s regional semifinals.


Boca Raton Christian 3, Jupiter Christian 0: Helga Kneffel and Gabby Hurtado each scored a goal as the Blazers (13-4-4) shut out the Eagles in Boca Raton. Boca Raton Christian advances to play at Oxbridge Academy in Tuesday’s regional semifinals.

Oxbridge Academy 8, Lake Worth Christian 0: Kendall Higgs, Jordan Schaefer and Lisa Cedeno each scored two goals, leading the Thunderwolves to the rout of the Defenders in West Palm Beach.


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