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Boys Soccer

Boys soccer: State semifinal recap

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Class 7A

Plant 1, Lake Mary 0

The Panthers, who made the playoffs for the first time since 2013, continued their charmed postseason run by reaching the state championship match for the first time. 

It was not easy. Locked in a scoreless state semifinal battle, Plant finally broke through in the second half when Joey Pleinis scored the lone goal of the match. 

Yannick Parkes helped the Panthers maintain their lead by recording four saves to preserve the shutout. 

Plant, ranked eighth in 7A by MaxPreps, enters Saturday’s state final on an eight-match win streak. 

Class 6A

Niceville 3, Mitchell 2

For the second straight season, the Mustangs made the state semifinals.

Once again, Niceville stood in the way. 

The rematch turned into another frustrating result

Down 2-0 in the first half, Mitchell mounted a furious rally. Mathias Pulido and Aidan Meyer each scored in the second half to tie the match. 

But that is as close as the Mustangs would get to reaching the state final for the first since winning the program’s only title in 2013. 

Class 5A

Jesuit 2, Jacksonville Stanton 1

The names change, but the results remain the same.

After graduating the bulk of its starting lineup, including Carson Bien, the 5A state player of the year, the defending state champion Tigers simply reloaded for another title. 

The new group maintained the program’s lofty status. Entering last week’s state semifinals, Jesuit was ranked first in 5A, first overall in the state and fourth nationally.

Still, the Tigers had come back to return to the final. 

Down 1-0 at the half, Jesuit rallied with goals by Aris Pantzalis and Baylen Young to take the lead. Phillip Falcon III made five saves to help seal the win. 

Class 3A

Tampa Catholic 8, Jacksonville Bolles 1

After falling short in last season’s state championship match, the Crusaders have made it back to the final. 

This time, Tampa Catholic is favored to win the school’s first boys soccer title, especially after its performance in last week’s state semifinal. 

There was a scoring bonanza with Crusader goals coming in bunches against Jacksonville Bolles. Six players scored, including two goals from Marcello Valbuena. 

Jack O’ Leary and Xavier Floyd each had two assists. 

Tampa Catholic enters Thursday’s final ranked first in 3A, second overall in the state and seventh nationally.  

State final schedule

All matches at DeLand’s Spec Martin Stadium. Admission is $9 in advance, $12 on day of event. Parking is free.

Class 7A

Plant (18-3-1) vs. Naples Gulf Coast (19-3-2), 1 Saturday

Class 5A

Jesuit (17-1-2) vs. Belen Jesuit (17-3-1), 4 Saturday

Class 3A

Tampa Catholic (24-2) vs. Miami Westminster Christian (11-3-2), 7 Thursday

Boys Soccer

Soccer: Marcello Valbuena and Quinn Ryan are Alvarez honorees

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Tampa Catholic’s Marcello Valbuena and Plant’s Quinn Ryan were named Alvarez award winners as the top boys and girls soccer players, respectively, in Hillsborough County. 

The award presentation, now in its 37th year, was held during a dinner ceremony on Tuesday.

Valbuena became the first player from Tampa Catholic to win the Jose A. Alvarez award as the top boys player.

The University of Tampa signee, who decided to play high school soccer for the first time after spending years at the club level, took top honors after finishing the season with 36 goals and five assists. In the 3A state title match, the senior forward connected on two goals within an eight-minute span to give Tampa Catholic its first lead, one that would last the rest of the match to secure the Crusaders’ first state title in boys soccer.  

“Marcello is the type of person who makes players around him better and the type of player  coaches dream about coaching,” Tampa Catholic coach Kevin McCarron said. “Prior to this year he had always been a center back in a defensive role. But our team needed someone to step up and play forward this year, and he did without hesitation.”

Valbuena has already been named the 3A player of the year and Mr. Soccer, the two awards given to the top boys player in each class and the overall winner in the sport by the Florida Dairy Farmers. He also was selected as the Gatorade state player of the year. 

Ryan won the Janet Alvarez award as the top girls player. It is the first time a player from Plant took top honors since Caroline Bado won the award in 2013. 

As a senior midfielder, Ryan led the Panthers to an 18-2 record and a state semifinal appearance. The USF signee scored a team-high 33 goals, including six in the region finals, and had nine assists. 

“Quinn has vision of play like no other,” Plant coach Alex Venegas said. “She has plenty of anticipation and is quick to the ball. As a striker and forward she has proven that once she has the ball on her feet it’s a sure score and why also name top scorer for two years in the county.”

Ryan’s performance helped her receive plenty of recognition. She was selected to the Western Conference team and was named the Class 7A state player of the year by the Florida Dairy Farmers. 

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Boys Soccer

FHSAA releases boys soccer class and district assignments

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The Florida High School Athletic Association released the classifications, districts and regions for boys soccer this coming season. The assignments are based on student enrollment numbers from October 2020. This is a one-year cycle that the FHSAA board of directors voted on. There likely will be a two-year cycle starting with the 2022-23 calendar year. The classifications and districts for the other sports will be released at a later date. Below is the list for area teams. For the full  boy soccer list click here.  

Class 7A, District 6

Alonso

East Lake

Palm Harbor University

Plant 

Sickles

Steinbrenner

Class 7A, District 7

Durant

Lakewood Ranch

Newsome

Plant City

Riverview

Class 6A, District 9

Gaither

Land O’ Lakes

Largo

Leto

Mitchell

Pinellas Park

Sunlake

Class 6A, District 10

Armwood

Hillsborough

Strawberry Crest

Tampa Bay Tech

Wharton

Wiregrass Ranch

Class 6A, District 11

Bloomingdale

Bradenton Manatee

East Bay

Lennard

Palmetto

Sumner

Class 5A, District 5

Belleview

Citrus

Gainesville 

Lecanto

Ocala Vanguard

Springstead

Class 5A, District 6

Cypress Creek

Fivay

Gulf

Pasco

River Ridge

Wesley Chapel

Zephyrhills

Class 5A, District 8

Blake

Brandon

Freedom

King

Middleton

Class 5A, District 9

Clearwater

Countryside

Jefferson

Jesuit

Osceola

Seminole

Class 5A, District 10

Boca Ciega

Bradenton Bayshore

Bradenton Southeast

Hollins

Northeast

St. Petersburg

Class 4A, District 9

Central

Hernando

Hudson

Nature Coast

South Sumter

Weeki Wachee

Class 4A, District 10

Anclote

Chamberlain

Dunedin

Gibbs

Lakewood

Robinson

Tarpon Springs

Class 3A, District 5

Bell Creek

Brooks DeBartolo

Carrollwood Day

Lakeland Christian

Tampa Catholic

Tampa Prep

Class 3A, District 6

Berkeley Prep

Bishop McLaughlin

Calvary Christian

Clearwater Central Catholic

St. Petersburg Catholic

Class 2A, District 9

Academy at the Lakes

Bayshore Christian

Cambridge Christian

Canterbury

Seven Rivers Christian

Shorecrest

Class 2A, District 10

Admiral Farragut

Bradenton Christian

Bradenton St. Stephens

Indian Rocks Christian

Keswick Christian

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Boys Soccer

PCAC boys soccer teams announced

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Here are the Pinellas County Athletic Conference boys soccer teams. The players are from public schools in the county. The selections were made by the coaches. 

North division

First team

GK Shane Dever, Sr., Seminole

F Fernando Vargas-Reyes, Sr., Clearwater

F Jacob Rocha, Sr., Countryside

F Feliks Muka, Sr., Palm Harbor University

MF Brennan Ortega, Sr., Clearwater

MF Michael Gomes, Sr., Seminole

MF Logan Koster, Sr., Palm Harbor University

MF Vikrame Karkare, Sr., Largo

D Jose Pena, So., Clearwater

D Peter Michael, Sr., Countryside

D Julian Zeqiri, Sr., Countryside

D Andrew Ovalle, Sr., Seminole

Second team

GK Aheron Hirsch, Sr., Palm Harbor University

F Trevor Armstrong, Largo

F PJ Slaughter, Seminole

F Emone Barazza, Countryside

MF Danylo Akymenko, Countryside

MF Junior Maye-Ocana, Sr., Clearwater

MF Rennie Crookston, Sr., Palm Harbor University

MF Adam Lim, Largo

D Sebastian Vivanco, So., Clearwater

D Ty Lim, Sr., Largo

D Luke Kennedy, Sr., Palm Harbor University

D Mihailo Poljcic, Jr., Palm Harbor University

South division

First team

GK Colin Roberts, Sr., Osceola

F Omar Chafchaouni, Jr., Northeast

F Jayden Walsh, Sr., Osceola

F Gavin Swartzwelder, Jr., Lakewood

MF Syed Haddak, Jr., Northeast

MF Riley Pinney, Sr., Northeast

MF Alex Flores, Sr., St. Petersburg

MF Owen Noyes, Sr., St. Petersburg

D George Nikolaev, Sr., Lakewood

D Landon Levering, Sr., Osceola

D Max Bernhart, Sr., Lakewood

D Tom Precious, Sr., Northeast

Second team

GK Aidan Barnes, Jr., Lakewood

F Braden Harris, Sr., Boca Ciega

F Riley Duebel, Jr., Osceola

F Jornell Channer, Sr., St. Petersburg

MF Jake Beresford, Jr., Osceola

MF Kyle Conde, So., Lakewood

MF David Silvers, Sr., Lakewood

D Luka Savic, Sr., St. Petersburg

D Javier Santander, Jr., Northeast

D Aiden Beresford, Jr., Osceola

D Caleb Fruland, Sr., St. Petersburg

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