Spruce Creek prevailed with a late goal in the Five State Conference boys soccer semifinals.
Some losses stick with you like heartburn. This was not one of those.
Losing on a late goal to the No. 2 team in the nation may have been disappointing at first, but the Seabreeze boys soccer team was able to take away more positives than negatives from their 2-1 loss to Spruce Creek in the Five Star Conference semifinals on Jan. 12.
Last month, the Hawks blasted the Sandcrabs 4-0, but Seabreeze's defense has picked it up since the new year with two clean sheets before the Creek rematch.
"It shows we're trending upward rather than declining, so I took a silver lining from that," said Seabreeze coach Jon Kinsler.
The Hawks improved to 19-1-1 with a 5-1 win over DeLand in the conference title game. They ended the week ranked No. 1 in the state by the Florida High School Athletic Association and No. 2 in the nation by MaxPreps.
You won't get an argument about those rankings from the Sandcrabs, who fell to 6-4-1 with the loss. Spruce Creek attacked pretty much the entire game, Kinsler said. Seabreeze goalkeeper Andrew Cole had 13 saves, and the Sandcrabs' defense was able to keep the Hawks without a goal until about 14 minutes into the second half.
About a minute later, Seabreeze freshman Drew McNerney tied the score off of a cross from Frazer Cross. The score remained 1-1 until Hawks defender Hudson Krausse scored off a corner kick with about six minutes left.
"Our keeper made the save, but unfortunately he was behind the goal line," Kinsler said.
"We did well with the chances we had, but they were pretty dominant throughout," said Kinsler. "I think we won't see another team with that aggressive playing style unless we get farther and farther into the state playoffs."
The way the Sandcrabs' defense has played lately, a deep playoff run seems very possible.
Strong finish for Bucs at Lady Pirate
Mainland finished second behind host Matanzas at the Lady Pirate Classic wrestling tournament on Jan. 15.
The Bucs entered just seven wrestlers in the tournament but finished with 85 points. Abby Couillard won the 100-pound title while five other Mainland wrestlers finished among the top four in their class. Jah'mya Hill (170), Eva Rojas (190) and Summer Snow (235) were runners-up.
Kevarrionna Sloan (235) placed third, and Trinya Tillman (170) placed fourth.
Sandcrab lifters prepare for districts
Seabreeze girls weightlifting coach Tarisa Craig-Craggy kept some of her lifters at home when the Sandcrabs traveled to Matanzas on Jan. 12 for their final dual meet before districts.
They did have two winners in senior Hailey Strohm in the 154-pound weight class, and freshman Becca Morrow in the 101-pound class. Strohm lifted a total of 230 pounds, while Morrow had a 130 total.
Kelly Hall, a state qualifier last year who finished second at the Five Star Conference championships last month in the unlimited class, did not compete at Matanzas.