Leilani We netted two goals and her St. Cloud teammates dominated the whole game, as the top-seeded Lady Bulldogs opened play in the Orange Belt Conference Girls Soccer Tournament with a convincing 12-0 win over Liberty.
The quarterfinal win put the Lady Bulldogs (10-2-3) into a Tuesday semifinal, where they played Celebration (9-1-3) the fourth seed who beat Gateway, 4-3, by scoring a goal in the second overtime period to earn the win.
“A game like this was good for us because it allowed us to shake some of the rust off of us from the Christmas break,” St. Cloud Head Coach Sean Beck said. “We had a rough game against Seminole earlier in the week and we played with a lot more urgency today.”
St. Cloud needed just 90 seconds to get on the board, as Rebecca Labrador took a cross and planted it in the right hand corner for a 1-0 lead. Less than a minute later, Liberty turned the ball over in front of the net and We tapped it home to make it 2-0. Ellie Schmidt would the score back-to-back goals to extend the lead to 4-0.
Following the mandated water break, Nikki Longmore knocked in a loose ball in front of the net, and Karen Prado would lob a ball in from distance, as the Lady Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead with 17 minutes remaining in the first half.
Liberty goalie Emma Hillen would then stop a We blast, but the rebound came back to We who buried the second opportunity in the back of the net to make it 7-0.
The first of back-to-back goals by Maddie Barthle gave St. Cloud an 8-0 lead that would ensure the game would end at halftime under FHSAA rules. Reserve player Jocelyn Velez would net two more goals, and Longmore would add her second goal just before the half ended for the 12-0 final.
St. Cloud outshot Liberty 24-0 in the game and led in shots on goal, 14-0 and corner kicks, 2-0.
In the other quarterfinal games, second-seeded Harmony (9-4-1) breezed past Osceola (1-10) by a 9-0 score, and Tohopekaliga (6-5-1) defeated Poinciana (6–5-1) by a 5-0 score to set up the other semifinal game between the Lady Longhorns and the Tigers.
Those semifinal games were contested on Tuesday, with the finals slated for Thursday at the home field of the highest seeded team.