Lakeland Christian Stops First Academy
Sun. January 27, 2013 at 4:06 a.m. | By Nathan Halverson
Lakeland Christian girls soccer player Bri Folds entered the game with 6 minutes remaining in the first half. (Photo by NATHAN HALVERSON | THE LEDGER)
By NATHAN HALVERSON | LEDGER CORRESPONDENT
LAKELAND | Senior Mallory White netted a hat trick and freshman Bri Folds, returning for the first time since injuring her knee two weeks ago, contributed three assists as Lakeland Christian beat Orlando First Academy 5-0 in a Class 1A regional semifinal girls soccer game on Saturday night before 75 fans at the Vikings stadium.
The Vikings (25-1-1) will play Shorecrest Prep at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in St. Petersburg. Shorecrest Prep defeated Tampa Prep 2-1 (5-4 on penalty kicks) to advance.
White, playing in her second game since Dec. 21 vs. George Jenkins, netted her hat trick in the second half. White, who has been a Lakeland Christian starter five out of the past six years, had surgery to repair the meniscus in her right knee and played briefly in the Vikings' 6-0 win against Windermere Prep on Wednesday.
"I am surprised I was able to get through this," White said. "I am thankful to God for that."
Folds, who didn't seem to miss a beat wearing a knee brace, checked into the game with six minutes remaining in the first half and started the second for Lakeland Christian.
"I felt a little nervous," Folds said. "I got used to wearing the brace."
Folds was named the Master's Academy tournament MVP the last time Lakeland Christian played First Academy in a 10-0 rout on Nov. 17. Folds and junior teammate Sydney Rayborn had a trick in the game.
"It's just hard coming back from being off for two weeks," Folds said.
It was the first time Folds has ever played with a brace on her leg.
Junior Josie Koretchko scored a goal to get the Vikings on the board with 24 minutes left in the first half on an assist from Carly Knox. Knox finished with two assists.
"We came out a little nervous in the first half," Vikings head coach Jason Streets said.
The Vikings dominated the second half against First Academy (21-6) scoring four goals including one by Rayborn.
Sophomore Emma Hovey had eight saves in goal for First Academy, while junior Lydia Cage recorded four saves in goal for Lakeland Christian to get the shutout.
Lakeland Christian dominated Fort Meade and Santa Fe Catholic by a combined 16-0 to win the Class 1A, District 6 championship.
Lakeland Christian made the state semifinals last season. If the Vikings defeat Shorecrest Prep in the regional finals it will be the second consecutive year making the state semifinals. The Vikings lost to St. John's Country Day 6-2 in the semifinals last year.
St. John Lutheran is the only team to beat Lakeland Christian on the season, winning 2-1 back on Dec. 8.
The Vikings are 11-0-1 since that loss.