The season ended too soon for the Ponte Vedra girls’ soccer team after a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Stanton Blue Devils in the regional semifinals last week at the Shark Tank.
The two teams sparred for most of the first half, with neither group owning a significant advantage – not surprising, considering how closely match the teams looked to be on paper.
Stanton scored the decisive goal at the nine-minute mark of the opening half, when a loose ball off a corner kick found the foot of a Blue Devil attacker behind Shark keeper Hannah Suder.
For most of the season, Ponte Vedra played outstanding defense, but offensively too frequently many of their shots on goal sailed wide or high of the mark, and last Tuesday’s game was no exception. Fourteen minutes in, junior Piper Dotsikas banged a hard shot off the cross bar. She had similar bad luck on a hard shot at the start of the second half. The pattern continued when captain Julia Worman’s header just missed wide left of the mark.
To make matters worse for the Sharks, the Devil keeper came up with a marvelous save on what might have been the tying goal with eight minutes left to play.
Following their win over the Sharks, the Blue Devils dispatched Gulf Breeze to earn a spot in the final four against Land O’ Lakes on Feb. 10.