Sports Editor

CHS BS Daniel Perez

Celebration midfielder Daniel Perez leaves a Haines City defender in his wake as he dribbles the ball upfield in the Storm’s 6-1 District 5A-9 semifinal victory over the Hornets. The Storm play Wednesday in a Region 3 quarterfinal playoff match.

Meets George Jenkins in tonight's district championship, a rematch of last year's

Celebration has earned the chance to retrace their steps to the Class 5A boys soccer state semifinals — or beyond.

A dominant 6-1 win over Haines City Wednesday in the District 5A-9 semifinals earned the Storm a regional playoff berth.

Celebration (17-1-2) played George Jenkins (14-2-2) in the district championship Friday night played after deadline for this edition; the winner will host the regional playoffs on Wednesday (check later this weekend for details).

The Storm muddled through the first 20 minutes of Wednesday’s match scoreless until Jose Mora punched in two goals in two minutes to build a lead that got bigger when Gabriel Pinheiro added another just before halftime to swell the lead to 3-0.

Matuck Machado, Nick Romano and Jose LaRoche added second half goals in a game Coach Chad Boudreaux called his team’s effort “made me really proud.”

“We played outstanding.  You never know how a team will react when they have a dominating performance during the regular season and have to play the same team in the playoffs,” he said. “We erased the regular season game from our mind and attacked that game as if we never played them. Not only on the field we looked great, I am more proud of how we were able to come together as a team.

“I was worried about how we would respond to a 0-0 tie in the first 20 minutes.  I thought that we would start to fight each other and one person would try to be the star, but the exact opposite happened.  Our leaders stepped up and started pushing everyone to play the best they could, and you can see that with 6 different people scoring a goal and 5 players picking up the assists.  I believe last night was a true testament to the way we as a coaching staff wanted our program to be and these young men buying into it.”