Lake Region Goes Long to Cruise Past Lake Gibson; Bartow Mercy Ruled By Ridge Community
Tue. January 22, 2013 at 2:00 a.m. | By Rick Brown
Ridge Community's Luis Mandujano (8) and Bartow's Christian Stowers (7) battle for control of the ball on Monday. (Photo by MICHAEL WILSON | THE LEDGER)
By RICK BROWN
DAVENPORT | Who says the long ball is only good in baseball? The Lake Region boys soccer team made a living out of the long ball in its first-round Class 4A, District 7 match Monday against Lake Gibson.
Brent Moore had five goals, most coming after he received a long pass and outraced the defenders, as the Thunder cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Braves.
Lake Region (14-2-2) will play in the semifinals on Thursday against the winner of tonight's contest between Kathleen and Lakeland.
In the second game, host and top seed Ridge exploded out of the gate and went on to an 8-0 victory over Bartow in a game that was mercy ruled with 10 minutes to go in the game.
The Bolts (14-3-2) will take on the winner of tonight's game between George Jenkins and Haines City.
Bartow's season ends at 1-19.
In the first game, Lake Region coach Mike Balata was happy to get the first victory out of the way.
"It's a relief," Balata said. "We were confident. During the season, we were lucky enough both games to get the win, but still, districts, every game counts. It's serious. You can't blink. You can't sleep on the job. But they did good. I'm proud of them."
The Thunder had defeated Lake Gibson by a combined score of 17-2 in the regular season and had chances early in Monday's quarterfinal match with the long ball. But they couldn't convert.
Still, they kept with the long passes until Moore finally got going.
Taking a pass from Miguel Mejia, Moore buried a chance seven minutes into the game. He would add two more before the half and another right before the second-half water break.
"Now that we've got this first one out of the way, we're feeling more confident," Moore said.
Francisco Gonzalez would add his 24th goal of the season before for Moore notched his 26th of the year.
Lake Gibson's Ivan Arroyave's goal prevented a shutout.
The Braves' season ends at 6-13-1.
In the second contest, the Bolts had a balanced attack in beating Bartow as six players scored.
Doroteo Luviano and Eduardo Ferrara scored twice. Ridge also got goals by Johnathon Bentham, Antonio Arias, Abdel Martinez and Saadiadson Novembre.