Harmony favored as district soccer tournaments begin
By Rick Pedone
Local teams will compete at girls district soccer tournaments Monday at St. Cloud, Lake Wales and Lakeland.
St. Cloud will host the 5A-9 tournament at Gannarelli Field, were Harmony, 8-3-1, is the overwhelming favorite. Osceola, Liberty, Gateway, St. Cloud, Celebration, Davenport Ridge Community and Haines City will compete. The first-round games will be played at the higher seed. The championship game Friday starts at 7 p.m.
Poinciana travels to Lake Wales for the 3A-11 tournament. The title game Thursday begins at 7 p.m.
New Dimensions competes at Lakeland Christian for the A-9 tournament. Friday’s championship game starts at 7 p.m.
Harmony was unbeaten and did not give up a goal against district competition this year, but the Lady Longhorns lost their season finale, 3-1, at Orlando Freedom Tuesday. The Lady Longhorns’ losses and tie came against out-of-county competition.
Harmony reached the regional finals last year.
Host St. Cloud, the district runner-up last season, brings an 11-1 record to the district tournament.
“We’ve had a real good season. We have a strong chance of advancing if we stay healthy,” St. Cloud Coach Shawn Beck said. “The girls are working hard and we are excited to see how the district tournament plays out.”
Celebration, 6-5-3, is another playoff contender in 5A-9. Ridge Community, 15-8, lost only to Harmony and St. Cloud in the district.
Liberty (2-7-1), Gateway (3-12-1), Haines City (0-12) and Osceola (1-10) are tournament longshots. Osceola travels to Harmony Monday at 7 p.m. for a first-round game.
Poinciana takes a 3-10-2 record to the 3A-11 tournament, while New Dimensions (0-7) is winless as it enters the A-9 tournament. The top two teams from each district advance to the regionals.