Shark soccer boys throttle on to state finals


If Ponte Vedra is to have a state soccer champion, it will have to be the Sharks’ boys’ team after the Lady Sharks bid for that honor fell one game short. And the boys have to like their chances. After wins against Matanzas and Choctawhatchee in the regional playoffs, the boys take their undefeated (23-0) record into the District 3A state finals in Melbourne. Ponte Vedra played Tampa Jesuit last night.

Ponte Vedra defeated Matanzas by the score of 1-0 on Johnny Stephens’ goal last Tuesday at the Shark Tank--the Sharks third win over the Pirates this season. But the score doesn’t indicate the extent of Ponte Vedra’s total domination. It was a game in which Ponte Vedra took 25 shots on goal to the Pirates’ eight. At least four other Ponte Vedra shots were near misses including one off the cross bar and one off the post.

Stephens’ game winner didn’t come until the 28-minute mark of the second half and while the Sharks dominated play, the fans had to hold their breath until the final whistle.

Their win over the Pirates earned the Sharks a Friday trip to the panhandle to play Choctawhatchee, a team they had meet previously in the regional final for five straight years. Prior to Friday’s game Ponte Vedra had managed but a single win over Choctaw. This time the result was quite different as the Sharks came away with a 4-0 victory.

Stephens again opened the scoring for the Sharks three minutes in but Ponte Vedra didn’t score again until Munir Adamo’s goal in the first minute of the second half. From that point on the Sharks were in total control. Michael Bennett’s 40th goal and another by Chris Howard were icing on the cake for the Sharks.