Seabreeze beat St. Cloud 8-0 and will play Saturday night, in the second round of the regional playoffs, against either Winter Springs or Harmony. BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
It took about five minutes from the time the starters were announced to the time the Sandcrabs scored their first goal.
But that wouldn’t be their last goal, as Seabreeze scored early and often in its 8-0 mercy rule win over visiting St. Cloud in the first round of the regional playoffs.
The eighth and final goal was scored by sophomore Kaley Dale, less than two minutes into the second half.
“Based on what we saw last year, we thought it’d be quite easy,” said head coach Frank O’Donnell. “But the thing is, we don’t want to think that way. We want to think it’s going to be a challenge, so let’s go out and get it done.”
Annie Gelnaw’s first goal came with 36 minutes left in the first half, to give Seabreeze a 1-0 lead. It was assisted by Kayla Merkel.
She scored twice more, both assisted by Merkel, who also had a goal in the game, as the two forwards pressured the St. Cloud defense the entire night.
“The thing about these two players is their speed,” O’Donnell said. “Other teams have trouble matching up with them. They’re not very big players, but they’re very quick and they’re very fast. And they’ve got a good idea how to play the game.”
Freshman Elizabeth Murray scored two goals, and Brianna Mengel added a goal with 3:40 left in the first half.
Goalie Hailey Beach was untested for most of the night, only making one save on a long shot.
The Sandcrabs will play at Harmony Saturday night, in the second round of the regional playoffs, after Harmony beat Winter Springs 5-0 Wednesday night.
O'Donnell said Harmony and Seabreeze have similar playing styles.
This article was updated at 11:15 p.m., Jan. 23.