GIRLS SOCCER: 2nd shutout in as many days for Port Charlotte

By Pete Sisk, Sun Correspondent

CAPE CORAL – This could have been a trap game for the Port Charlotte High School girls soccer team.

But the Island Coast Gators just couldn’t spring the trap.

Port Charlotte scored three second-half goals Tuesday to win its second match in as many days with a 4-0 District 3A-13 win over Island Coast.

The Pirates were coming off a hard-fought 1-0 win against arch-rival Charlotte on Monday, and for much of Tuesday’s match they had to battle a Gators team they crushed 8-0 at home on Nov. 8.

“It was tough for my girls because they played a rival game yesterday against Charlotte,” Port Charlotte coach Chip Stec said. “A big, big game yesterday. They’re all sore, and this and that.

“I’ve got to give Island Coast credit. They came out and they played a pretty good game. The first time we played them we mercied them, so for them to get us to stay for the whole game was pretty impressive for them.”

The Pirates evened their record at 6-6, 3-3 in district play, while Island Coast fell to 2-6-1, 1-5. The Gators were coming off a 2-1 win last Friday against Lehigh, the team’s first win since their season opener.

“I push for improvement,” Island Coast coach Mitch Kania said. “I don’t care if they lose every game, but if we constantly get better and better in every game, that’s what matters.”

Port Charlotte struck for its first goal early. Doren Staley’s corner kick set off a flurry in front of Island Coast goalkeeper Amythyst Lindsey. Lindsey made the initial save, but as the ball caromed around in a maze of players, Isabella Reyes was able to fire a shot into the net less than three minutes into the match.

From there, the Pirates dominated time of possession, but Lindsey was up to the task. She had six first-half saves, ending the night with nine. Island Coast managed to keep the ball out of its own net for the rest of the half but managed only one first-half shot on Pirates keeper Grace Stec.

But the continuing dominance of the Pirates would eventually take its toll on Island Coast. A two-goal burst less than two minutes into the second half would prove decisive.

Staley’s centering pass set up Cassidy Francis, who put a light touch on the ball to change its course and get it past Lindsey.

About 1:45 later, Alyssa Toth passed out in front to Dayna Borges, who scored for a 3-0 Port Charlotte lead.

“It was more of a mental game,” Kania said of his Gators squad. “They beat themselves. They have it. They know what they need to do.”

Later in the match, coach Stec starting bringing up goalkeeper Stec to handle long free kicks in the Island Coast end. One such set play, a booming kick by Stec was deflected just enough by Brittany McGivern to give Caitlin Moss-Solomon the opportunity to bang home the night’s final goal.

“We do that every now and then,” Coach Stec said his keeper. “She’s got a pretty good foot on her. She can place the ball where it needs to be placed.”

The Pirates get a few days to rest up their sore muscles before district matches Friday at home against Lemon Bay and Monday at Cape Coral.

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