Lakeland Prevails in OT; Will Face Jenkins in Final
Fri. January 18, 2013 at 2:00 a.m. | By Rick Brown
George Jenkins' Lauren Greene (8) moves the ball up the field on a breakaway to score her team's second goal as Lake Region's Stephanie Markatos (15) and Brooke Clark (4) try to defend during the first half. (Photo by MICHAEL WILSON | THE LEDGER)
By RICK BROWN
LAKELAND | Lakeland and Bartow played two of the better girls soccer matches of the regular season in Polk County.
Bartow won the first meeting 2-1 and the two squads tied the second meeting.
But neither one of those games topped the performance the two teams put on Thursday in the Class 4A, District 7 semifinals.
In a game that went back and forth like a table tennis match, went into two overtimes and had tears on both sides, Lakeland was finally able to come out on top 4-3 in double overtime
Freshman Jessica Frede scored the game-winning goal one minute into the second overtime to lift the Dreadnaughts into today's district final game.
"It felt great because I haven't scored in a lot of huge games so it felt good," Frede said. "Mackenzie Hatch kicked it from the right side and it came to me and I just kicked it in."
The Dreadnaughts, who secured a playoff spot with the victory, will now face top seed George Jenkins in tonight's final.
The Eagles defeated Lake Region 9-0 in a game that was called at halftime.
Lauren Greene scored four goals and Jessie Scarpa added three to lead the Eagles. Katherine Stokes and Courtney McElroy also scored for Jenkins, who improved to 18-2.
"Sometimes we've come into games too confident," Greene said. "But today, we played calm, played our game and as coach said do what we had to do."
The Eagles tonight will face a Dreadnaught team that is full of confidence.
Chloe Allen got Lakeland on board first late in the first half, taking a feed from Hatch and burying the shot for a 1-0 lead.
The Dreadnaughts (18-3-2) made it 2-0 on a free kick early in the second half by Autumn Gore, who lofted a shot from 32 yards out into the net.
But the Yellow Jackets (12-5-1) battled back.
Goals by Sarah Valenti, Anna Koretchko and Ariel Schleicher in a 12-minute span gave Bartow a 3-2 lead.
This time, it was Lakeland's turn to battle back, and they got the equalizer after Bartow was called for a hand ball in the box with six minutes remaining.
Gore made the penalty kick count, tying the game and forcing overtime.
Gore thought she had the game-winner in the first overtime after getting behind the defense, but Precious McIntosh made a diving kick save that kept the game tied and sending it into double OT.
There, Hatch made the rush down the right side, took a shot that got to Frede, who buried the biggest shot of her young career.