Story by Tamas Mondovics
Coaches and fans representing Newsome (5A-6) and Bloomingdale (4A-9) High School girls soccer programs had plenty to celebrate last month after the two teams claimed their respective district championships.
For the fourth year in a row, Newsome claimed the district trophy, after defeating Riverview, 4-1, and advancing to the much tougher round of regional playoffs.
As district champs, boasting an 18-0-3 undefeated regular season, Newsome’s win came in the wake of a near miss just two days prior during the Class 5A, District 6 semifinal, serving as a wakeup call and a reminder that they are indeed a state-title contender.
Newsome did not disappoint the parents and fans who came to show their unconditional support, despite Riverview (9-6-1) scoring the first goal of the night in the 14th minute. Newsome regrouped and never looked back, proving to the district that they are a top high school soccer team in Hillsborough County.
The scoring began just two minutes later when Newsome sophomore Sophie Shrader skillfully kicked the ball into the back of the net to tie the game 1-1.
Scoreless for the remainder of the first half, Newsome’s onslaught of shots were blocked by Riverview’s very talented goal keeper Summer Simpson.
Newsome Coach, Kelly Townsend, assisted by John Evensen, put things in perspective at half time. Townsend motivated the girls just moments before the second half by saying, “We got this!”
The tie was eventually broken in the 61st minute, when Newsome senior, Lauren Evans, assisted by Jenna Oldham changed the score to 2-1. Emma Milligan added one more goal to make it 3-1 followed by senior captain Addison Ura’s goal that sealed Newsome’s fourth straight district tile victory.
Confident of the team’s future, Kelly confirmed that her girls are in position to do more than just coming close to the state title when she told reporters, “I think this group can do it, they just might have what it takes.”
The Bloomingdale Lady Bulls, coached by Heather Iverson, have also managed to post a 10-1-1 overall record, while maintaining an outstanding undefeated 6-0 district run.
While a cause for celebration, both Newsome and Bloomingdale are yet to win their first state title.
For more information visit, Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) region and state playoffs please visit www.fhsaa.org.