Regional Final
 

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February 12th, 2019              

Regional Final

7:00pm
Venice High School - Venice 1st Half 2nd Half OT Final Shootout (Rnd 1) Shootout (Rnd 2) Final (SO)
Venice Indians 0 1   0 1 X G G G X G X - - - 4
St. Petersburg Green Devils 0    1 0 1 X G G G X G G - - - 5

 

This was a weird game right from the opening kick. While Samantha started the game on the bench, her Venice Indians teammates seemed a bit off tonight in their matchup against the St. Petersburg Green Devils. The Indians outshot St. Pete over the course of the first half by a 5-1 margin, but neither team was able to convert. Despite the large shot differential, it was actually St. Pete that controlled the ball for the majority of the time. Sam came in later in the half, doing her part to keep the Green Devils off of the board.

The second half got underway with a quick strike by Venice on a corner kick rebound, giving them an early 1-0 lead. Sam go the start in the second half, but was subbed out midway through as Venice clung to their one goal lead. They held that lead for a while, but like the first half it was St. Pete who dominated the time of possession, and they would go on to out outshoot Venice over the course of the final 40 minutes. St. Pete would tie up the game on a play where Venice was unable to clear the ball, and that would be the final goal of regulation time.

Overtime consisted of two 10 minutes halves, and the two teams played fairly evenly over that time, trading chances but not scoring. That meant the game came down to penalty kicks. The first round was tied after 5 kicks, with each team making three of theirs. Samantha led off the second round of kicks, nailing hers. St. Pete would follow up with a successful kick of their own. The St. Pete keeper made a save on the second Venice attempt, opening the door for the game winning kick that followed. That was it, as the Indians would fall by a 5-4 shootout score.

This wasn't the end to the season that any of the Venice girls soccer supporters had hoped for, but by any measure it was still a huge success, as they made it to the Elite 8 in the playoffs. After the challenges that Sam faced this season - she was the only player on the team to play forward, mid-field, defense, and in goal, in addition to playing a new position (defense as opposed to mid-field) and her inconsistent playing time - both Tara and I are extremely proud of her. Way to go Samantha, and we love you! Way to finish your high school soccer season strong!

 

FHSAA Class 4A Regional Final - Venice Indians vs. St. Petersburg Green Devils

Samantha running down the line as she high-fives her teammates during introductions...

...and high-fives the coaches as well...

...before heading down the line of girls who have already been announced.

Sam and her teammates listening to the national anthem.

Sam getting ready to take a high pass...

...and settle the ball down...

...before turning to make a pass.

Sam passing the ball ahead to her teammates.

Sam doing her best to "box out" a St. Pete player during a free kick...

...and using her hands to "reposition" her.

Sam driving around a St. Pete player.

Sam surveying the field for a sideline throw-in...

...and reaching back...

...before launching the ball...

...and watching as it flies down the field.

Sam ready for another sideline throw-in.

Sam looking down the field during a break in the action.

Sam running down the field while maintaining her position.

 Sam in a battle for the ball.

Samantha dribbling the ball down the field...

...while looking ahead to make a pass.

Sam with another sideline throw-in...

...that she puts all of her effort into...

...before launching the ball onto the field.

Sam walking the field...

...and checking the position of the players in front of her.

Sam going after the ball...

...and getting a foot on it to keep it in-bounds...

...and sending it down the field.

Samantha and her Venice Indians teammates were feeling the pressure of the shootout penalty kicks.

The girls celebrating a St. Pete miss that moved the shootout into the second round of kickers.

Samantha, the first kicker of the second round of the shootout, taking her shot...

...and sending the ball towards the goal...

...and past the St. Pete goalkeeper...

...before turning back up field.

Sam was elated that she made her kick...

...but could barely control her emotions...

...as she headed back to her teammates...

...where she was greeted warmly with...

...a big hug!

Samantha and her teammates going through the handshake line after St. Pete sealed the victory.

Sam mingling with girls from both teams after the game.

The Venice Indians coaches and players came together after the game...

...for a talk that lasted several minutes.

Sam and her teammates spent quite a bit of time together, laughing, crying, and everything in between, after the game.

Sam getting a hug from Coach Gary, who she played for as a freshman and now as a senior.

Sam couldn't control her emotions as her family surrounded her (and honestly, neither could I), including Grandma Terry...

...and her little sister Jayden.

Sam talking to another one of the coaches.

After the game we took a picture of Rodney and Samantha together.


 

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