Pickett destined for 10th title

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 3/3/21

VENICE - St. Johns Country Day School soccer added a few more team busses to the scheduling process this season with the addition of the boy's team to the annual trek by the girl's soccer team to the …

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Pickett destined for 10th title

Posted

VENICE - St. Johns Country Day School soccer added a few more team busses to the scheduling process this season with the addition of the boy's team to the annual trek by the girl's soccer team to the state championship venue; this year again, Stetson University’s Spec Martin Stadium.

By way of two wins in Final Four action last week; an 8-0 win for the St. Johns girls team over host Geneva High School and a 4-0 win for the St. Johns boys team, the Spartan program has a chance at a historic piece of history with both teams traveling to their respective Class 2A championship games on Wed., March 3 (4 p.m.) for the girls and Thurs., March 4 (4 p.m.) for the boys.

St. Johns girls coach Mike Pickett will attempt to finish with a decade of state titles in his match with Canterbury of Fort Myers (21-2-1).

St.Johns (17-0) arrives with just one goal against them in four playoff games; albeit a late goal in a 9-1 blowout of St. Joseph Academy in the region semifinal. The Lady Spartans scored wins of 8-0 over Bishop McLaughlin, 9-1 over St. Joseph and 5-0 over Tallahassee Maclay in region games with the 8-0 pasting of Geneva in the state semifinal.

Against Geneva, St. Johns got to 5-0 in the first half with goals from Lauren Mateo, Julia Boaventura, Mia Sadler, Bella Pontieri and Mateo off a corner kick from Kamryn Towers with three minutes to halftime. The game ended at the 53 minute mark.

For the boys, the road to paydirt came by way of tough play and up-front speed of attack with the Spartans beating St. Edwards 4-0 in their state semifinal on Friday.

With the game knotted at 0-0 at the half, St. Johns’ boys were certainly not looking forward to another overtime classic. Instead, Jacob Graston, the final penalty kick in St. Johns overtime win over Maclay just three days prior, punched up the first goal of the night at 26 minutes to go and got the Spartans flowing with follow-up goals from Dru Detlefsen on a penalty kick just five minutes later. Max Monroe and Landon Brafford added the insurance runs to the 4-0 win.

St. Johns got to the Final Four with wins of 8-0 also over Bishop McLaughlin, 4-0 over St. Joseph Academy and a dramatic penalty kick marathon win 5-4 over Tallahassee Maclay in region play before upending St. Edwards. The Spartans (16-2-1) will face Canterbury of Fort Myers (20-3-1) for their Class 2A title.

Canterbury opened with an 8-0 region round one win, but then scored closer 4-1 and 2-1 wins to advance with a 3-1 win over Westminster Academy in their state semifinal.

Fleming Island High’s Cinderella Season, the first for new coach Joy Rosano, ended Friday with a 1-0 loss to Venice High in Venice. Venice (14-4-1) was last year’s Class 6A runner-up. Fleming Island, 18-2-1, only lost previously to defending 7A champion Bartram Trail twice and was ranked number one in Class 6A. Venice was ranked sixth in 6A.

Ironically, Venice beat Creekside, twice playoff wins for Fleming Island, in last year’s state semifinal.

In the game, Venice scored the lone goal with 7:15 left in the first half, then held off Fleming Island’s relentless offensive pushes with 15 shots on goal by the Golden Eagles.

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