Photo courtesy of Durant girls soccer. The Cougars went 3-0 in the TBU Invitational.

The Durant girls soccer team had a memorable Christmas break, winning the highly competitive Tampa Bay United (TBU) Invitational.

The Cougars went 3-0, defeating Mariner 1-0, Wiregrass Ranch 2-0 and Land O’ Lakes 1-0 in the tournament held from December 21-23, 2020 in Tampa. The combined records of the five teams competing in the TBU before tournament play was an astounding 34-3-3.

“I was really proud of the girls,” said Head Coach Sue Peet. “The opportunity had never really presented itself to being in one of these Christmas tournaments. This year the door opened up for us, a team dropped out and I jumped on the opportunity and said, ‘let’s go give it a shot.’ The kids grow by playing good competition, so that’s what we did.”

Three Durant players earned All-Tournament Team honors, including sophomore midfielder/defender Katlyn Levasseur, senior striker/midfielder Kendall Drummond and freshman striker Rachel Horn. Senior defender/midfielder Hannah Kittrell was named MVP of the tournament.

Horn led the team with two of the four total goals scored, with both being 1-0 game-winners.

“It was such an amazing feeling. Our team had been working so hard in this tournament and I knew that we deserved to win those games,” said Horn. “Both games were goals in the last second, and it was just so much pure joy that overflowed through me when the whistle blew and I knew that we had won the game. I think this tournament helped prove not only to me, but to our team, that we can win these games, especially against these really elite teams.”

The legendary Coach Peet may retire after this season. She has been coaching soccer since 1980, serving as the head coach for several schools, including Brandon, Chamberlain, Coconut Creek, Bloomingdale, Steinbrenner and Durant. Peet won the state championship in 2001 with Bloomingdale.

Durant, 8-2-1, has high expectations for the rest of the season.

“I’m expecting our team to go far this year,” said Horn. “We’ve finally proven to ourselves how good of a team we can really be, and I think based off of that, we can beat teams that maybe we wouldn’t have been able to beat prior. I want to continue improving on everything I need to work on and be able to help my team even more.” Horn said her overall motto for the year is “Don’t stop the grind.”

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Nick Nahas
Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.