The Finals! Capping Off A Great Year!

 

We’ve finally come down to the wire

STA vs LHP on the Boys’ side and STA versus Bishop Moore on the Girls’ side

Ft. Lauderdale versus Orlando

Spring break versus Mickey

Okay, I’ll cut that short . . .

 

The crowds in Jupiter were enormous yesterday.  Not sure about the ticket count but it had to be at least 1,500 at the peak.

Because it is a Friday at noon start there’s a tendency for the early game fans to not stick around for the whole day.

Kind of a shame actually.

Where else do you get this type of entertainment for this long for so little money?

Became a fan of the sport, not just the team!

 

The four games were all entertaining and only one of them was a blow out.  And that one revealed a heck of an offense, one that I thought was as good as any I’ve seen in the Girls’ game for sophistication.

The first game was a back and forth affair between Barron Collier and STA and a game where STA jumped out to an early 4-goal lead only to see Barron Collier battle back and take control, with a 2-goal lead AND a player advantage due to the fourth yellow card with about 6 minutes to go.  Plus possession.

But STA powered through the disadvantages and overcame the deficit, outscoring BC 5-0 to end the game and go on to the finals.

And in game two Bishop Moore came out quick and often, scoring 11 goals in the first half on the way to their victory.

Then we were able to watch The Rematch, as STA and Benjamin met about 365 days after last year’s scintillating game, with STA getting out early, holding off the Benjamin comeback charge and taking their finals spot.

And the night cap was another down to the wire LHP comeback win as they scored the tying goal late and the winning goal in the last minute . . . AGAIN . . . to nip Lake Mary.

 

So many heroes yesterday.

Great strategies and execution . . . some on the other side too.

High school sports are so emotional, for all the participants.

 

Predictions?

On the Girls’ side it will be a tight one, with both teams going on runs.  This is the first time a school has a chance to win both titles in one calendar year.  If STA can keep Bishop Moore’s offense in check they can win this game.  Ponte Vedra was not able to find anything that worked consistently.  Look to see how STA plays the BM offense when they set up behind the goal.  If they don’t pressure the ball carrier it could be a long day for them.  BM consistently found good looks off that set and they also showed a good two-person offense when attacking from the wing.  Both teams have excellent transition middies.

I suspect that BM will win a tight one but if the game is 12 goals or under STA will likely prevail.  Kind of a ‘who can make the other team play their game’ scenario.

On the Boys’ side, I am having a hard time seeing LHP winning this game.  The first game was a 16-9 win for STA where they jumped out early and were never really threatened.  LHP has come a long way this season but the athleticism of STA makes this a difficult matchup for them.  Their hope is to hang around for the first three quarters and then try to win it in the fourth but that has not worked for any of STA’s opponents this year.

STA is looking to put a cap on an incredible three year run that saw three consecutive final appearances and last year’s title.  The only loss in Florida was to LHP in the 2015 final and that is likely a rallying cry for the STA seniors to avenge that one.

If LHP can get into the fourth quarter down 2 or less then we could see another last minute miracle but I don’t see it getting there that way.  Look for STA to win a similar game to their regular season matchup and life the trophy once again.