By Pete Sisk, Sun Correspondent
PORT CHARLOTTE — Girls soccer Senior Night served up plenty of drama for Port Charlotte on Wednesday.
Senior captain Teala Brown scored the winning goal as the Pirates got past DeSoto County 3-2 at Port Charlotte High.
“It was senior night for my girls and a lot of my seniors don’t get much playing time,” Port Charlotte coach Chip Stec said. “They got to play the whole game and that was good for them.”
Wednesday’s game began the final stretch of the season for Port Charlotte, which has three games to play before the District 3A-13 tournament. That stretch continues with a home match Thursday against Lely.
The Pirates (9-8, 3-4 in 3A-13) finished district play before the holiday break.
“I was happy I had two seniors score today,” Stec said. “One was Breanna Salter and the other one was Teala Brown. Teala scored the game-winner for us. It was great for those girls, especially on what was
almost their last home game.”
For DeSoto, the decisive goal was more than just a bad break in the game.
Goaltender Lorena Lara tried to make the save against Brown, but went down face-first onto the turf with a left ankle injury while Brown kept going and put the goal into an empty net.
“She said she felt something pop,” Bulldogs coach Chris Seekings said. “She hurt the other ankle last year and missed the rest of the season. She said this was the worst. She’s not one to exaggerate, so I take that seriously.”
Lara was helped off the field and treated by the Port Charlotte trainer. She rode in the trainer’s cart from the field to the DeSoto bus after the match.
“That’s the way it happens sometimes,” Stec said. “I don’t know how she hurt herself. She came out for the ball and the ball came out of her hands. I feel bad for her because she was in a lot of pain.”
The match was back and forth throughout. Salter got the Pirates on the board first when she took a crossing pass from Dayna Borges and put it past Lara with 26:40 left in the first half.
Six minutes later, Adriana Olivera tied the match at 1-1 for DeSoto.
The Pirates regained the lead with 10:20 left in the half when Isabella Reyes got her own rebound and scored into an empty net with Lara on the ground from having made the initial save.
Some drama near the Port Charlotte net would draw the Bulldogs even again before the half. There was a collision in the penalty area in front of Pirates goaltender Grace Stec. The result was that Olivera got her second goal of the night on a penalty shot.
After Brown’s game-winner, the Bulldogs had to turn to a backup goalie. Yessenia Castillo managed to keep the Pirates out of the net the rest of the way.