Three weeks ago, girls soccer rivals Harmony and St. Cloud played to an epic 1-1 draw in their regular season meeting.
The tie meant neither could vie for the No. 1 seed in this week’s District 5A-9 tournament, and that they’d be the No. 2 and 3 seeds — and meet in a semifinal that would determine who moved on into the playoffs.
Wednesday at St. Cloud, the Longhorns would have nothing to do with a repeat performance.
Harmony (16-0-4) scored 15 minutes into the match Wednesday to take a lead that loosened them up, then kept the hammer down in a 4-1 victory that allowed the Longhorns the chance to make it a three-peat as 5A-9 champions.
Harmony played George Jenkins (10-4-2), who upset No. 1 seed Ridge, 1-0, Wednesday in the district championship Friday night played after deadline for this edition; the winner will host the regional playoffs on Wednesday (check aroundosceola.com later this weekend for details).
Autumn Horn opened the scoring 15 minutes in by directing a crossing pass from Jenna Butcofski into the net. It was 2-0 minutes later when Lindsey Larisa scored off an indirect kick, burying a shot from 25 yards into the upper right corner of the net.
“We looked to create chances early and get up early, we’re a better team playing from ahead. We settled down after Autumn’s goal,” HHS Coach Scott Marlega said.
Samantha Blanchard and Vanessa Bolen scored second-half goals that put the game away, both off assists from Carlie Rucks.
“Without a doubt we were better than the regular season game,” Marlega said. “We’ve had the better end of the rivalry of late, the seniors stressed they’ve never lost (to St. Cloud). We showed intensity into the second half and scored six or seven minutes and were able to empty the bench, which was great.”
Larisa is part of a large senior contingent on this team, and said getting to play for another district championship is meaningful.
“What was great about the win was being able to do it with my 10 best friends,” she said.
The Longhorns reached the district semifinals with a 10-0 win over Haines City in Monday’s quarterfinals; freshman Reinna Scott had three goals, Abby Johnson, Butcofski and Larissa added two and Butcofski assisted on four others.