Jenkins Steamrolls Lakeland in District Title Game
Sat. January 19, 2013 at 2:00 a.m. | By Rick Brown
By RICK BROWN
LAKELAND | When the George Jenkins girls soccer team took the Bryant Stadium field against Lakeland High for the finals of Class 4A, District 7, it had one date in their minds — Dec. 6.
That was the last time Jenkins played the Dreadnaughts.
Even though the Eagles won the game 2-0, they were not happy with their performance that evening and wanted to make sure Friday's contest wasn't similar.
Jenkins jumped on a weary Lakeland team early and cruised to an 8-0 title win in a game stopped by mercy rule with a little more than 24 minutes to go in the contest.
With the victory, George Jenkins (19-2) will host Steinbrenner, who lost in the Class 4A-8 finals 2-1 to Wesley Chapel Wiregrass Ranch on Wednesday.
Lakeland (18-4-2) will travel to Wesley Chapel to take on Wiregrass Ranch.
Although Jenkins won its first two district tournament contests by a score of 19-0, it wasn't overlooking the host Dreadnaughts on Friday.
"This game was very important to us," said Jenkins junior Lauren Greene, who scored a goal and had four assists. "It was the district final, obviously but also we wanted to prove a point. We didn't want it to be a 2-0 win.
"We're going into regionals now so we really have to focus," Greene said. "We've got to focus from here on out, work as hard as we can and see what happens."
Jenkins was focused Friday thanks to a dominating performance that didn't see Lakeland attempting a shot on goal until nearly 2 minutes had passed in the second half.
The majority of the first half was played deep in Lakeland's defensive zone with the Eagles thoroughly controlling the action.
Jenkins defender Katherine Lopez got the Eagles on the board 10 minutes into the game, firing a blistering shot from 40 yards out that trickled into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Lopez had two goals on the night.
Less than two minutes later, Greene lofted a perfect corner kick that Jessie Scarpa headed into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Scarpa had three goals for the second game in a row for the Eagles.
Marissa Morgan had a goal and Ruby Lewis scored the lone goal in the second half that ended the contest.
Camille Knudstrup added two assists for the Eagles.
"I think we played very well tonight," Eagles coach Marissa Kazbour said. "Lakeland came off of a big win (Thursday), and I told (her team) as long as you keep it 1-0, 2-0, they're going to keep coming.
"I always preach to them pro season, the record goes back to 0-0. Now we're 3-0. This was our last chance to lose, and we didn't so that's that. We've got to keep going hard."
Lakeland, who defeated Bartow 4-3 in double overtime to reach the final, didn't appear to have any gas left on Friday.
"They know how we play against Jenkins," Lakeland coach Craig Nance said. "But they were tired. I don't think they wanted the night to end early but...
"They picked it up at halftime but Jenkins is a good team. Like I told their coach, ‘Go all the way.' They are a good team, they really are and I really respect her."