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Plant Girls Continues Winning Ways in Sarasota Holiday Soccer Tournament

Posted Dec 19, 2009 by Jarrett Guthrie

Updated Dec 19, 2009 at 12:37 AM

SARASOTA – Less than 24 hours after defeating Newsome 2-1, Plant continued its strong run taking out two more of the Hillsborough County’s top soccer programs in matches Friday at the Sarasota Holiday girls soccer tournament. The Panthers looked dominant in heavy rains against Tampa Prep Friday afternoon beating the terrapins 5-0 behind a hat trick from Connor Zwetsch.

Plant continued the winning against a tough Berkeley Prep team with a 1-0 win in an evening match on a late goal by senior Stacy Heitlinger.

As in the Newsome match, the Panthers defense was stifling in Friday’s two matches led by seniors Amy Werdine and Megan Bryant.

In the first match, rainy conditions played a big part with both teams ability to pass the ball but Plant eventually took control and the lead with a pass from Kaitlyn Steckel to Zwetsch who sent in a shot in the first half. Plant added four more goals in the second half with two more from Zwetsch and goals from Steckel and Olivia Muratides.

In an early match Berkeley Prep defeated Newsome 3-1 setting up an evening game against the Panthers for county bragging rights. The Rain disappeared for the late game only to be replaced by gusting winds. Plant controlled much of the action against the Buccaneers, but weren’t able to find the back of the net. Berkeley Prep played a physical match throughout but had very few chances on goal.

In the 67 minute Heitlinger stayed with a ball in the box that got away from Berkeley’s keeper Bryane Heaberlin and sent in the decider.

Plant leads the tournament’s Elite bracket with two wins and has a goal differential lead against St. Petersburg Catholic, which also has two wins (both 1-0 matches against Bloomingdale and Lourdes Academy). The Panthers will face East Bay (1-1 in the tournament) Saturday at 10 a.m. with the brackets final being played at the Sarasota High Soccer field at 3 p.m.

In the Premiere bracket of the tournament, Steinbrenner leads the way with two wins Friday. The Warriors defeated Palmetto 3-0 and Miami Killian 5-1. The Warriors were led on the day by Cici Gonzalez, who had four goals and two assists and Taylor Valley who had two goals and two assists.

Also in the Premiere bracket, Wharton tied Braden River 0-0 in its first match Friday, but defeated host team Sarasota 6-0 in the evening match.

The Wildcats Fallon Vaughan and Shelby Million each had two goals in the win against Sarasota. Wharton has also gotten a big lift from Taylor Virgili, who has stepped in as goal keeper and so far tallied 200 consecutive minutes of shutout soccer.

Steinbrenner looks to advance to Saturday’s Premiere final at 5 p.m. but will first take on Sarasota at noon. Also at noon the Wildcats face Sarasota Riverview needing a win to possibly advance to the final.