Connect with us

Boys Soccer

Boys soccer: Class 3A state final preview



Boys soccer state finals

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

Class 3A

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

How they got here: Tampa Catholic d. Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 4-0, d. Calvary Christian 3-3 (3-1 in PKs), d. Lakeland Christian 4-2, d. Jacksonville Bolles 8-1. Miami Westminster Christian d. Marathon 6-0, d. Ransom Everglades 3-2, d. Miami SLAM 1-1 (4-3 in PKs), d. Winter Park Trinity Prep 2-0.  

Top players: Tampa Catholic: F/D Marcello Valbuena, Sr. (34 goals, 4 assists); MF Esteban Vargas, Sr. (20 assists, 10 goals); F Sean Siwek, Sr., (15 assists, 14 goals); GK Eric Fidalgo, Jr. (101 saves, 7 shutouts). Miami Westminster Christian: D Jack Butler, Sr. (11 goals, 6 assists); D Munir Reyes, Sr., (8 assists); MF Matias Gutierrez, Sr. (9 goals, 8 assists). 

Outlook: The Crusaders are trying to win what has been an elusive state title. Four times Tampa Catholic has made it to the championship match (1989, 2000, 2016, 2020) only to fall short. This might be their best shot. The Crusaders are ranked first in 3A, fifth overall in the state and eighth nationally by MaxPreps.  They have rocketed up the rankings thanks to an offense that has scored a combined 19 goals in four playoff matches, including eight in the state semifinals against Jacksonville Bolles. Keeping up that pace against Miami Westminster Christian might be tough. The Warriors, ranked second in 3A and seventh overall in the state, have allowed a combined three goals in the last four matches. They also are trying to win their first state title. 

Boys Soccer

Marcello Valbuena named state boys soccer player of the year



Tampa Catholic’s Marcello Valbuena, who led the Class 3A state champions in scoring, was named Mr. Soccer, the award given to the top boys player in the state by the Florida Dairy Farmers. 

Valbuena, named the 3A player of the year last week, received 12 of the 17 first place votes and had 134 points, 52 more than Fort Myers Canterbury’s McLaren Baggett, the 2A player of the year. 

This is the ninth time an area player has won the top overall honor in boys soccer. The last was Tampa Prep’s Shaddy Douidar in 2013. 

Valbuena, a senior forward, decided to play high school soccer for the first time this season after playing strictly at the club level. The University of Tampa signee finished with 36 goals and five assists. In the 3A state title match, Valbuena 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. 

Continue Reading

Boys Soccer

Weeki Wachee’s Seth Tarbox named 4A player of the year



Weeki Wachee’s Seth Tarbox, one of the area’s top playmakers, was named the Class 4A state player of the year in boys soccer by the Florida Dairy Farmers.

The senior forward teamed with Jacob Kelly to form a dynamic 1-2 punch for the Hornets. Kelly scored a team-high 33 goals, many of which were set up by Tarbox. 

Tarbox was adept at putting the ball through the net, too. The Warner signee finished with 25 goals and 25 assists to help Weeki Wachee advance to the region finals. 

The winners in each classification were selected through voting from a statewide panel of boys soccer coaches and media representatives. They are now eligible to be named the overall winner in the state, which will go through another round of voting and likely be announced next week.  

Continue Reading

Boys Soccer

Boys soccer: Jesuit unable to repeat as 5A state champions



Winning a state title is difficult.

Repeating as a state champion is even more challenging. 

Graduation can take away key players. Complacency can take hold. Anything can happen. 

Jesuit’s boys soccer team knows. 

The Tigers, one of the area’s most storied programs, has won seven state titles, second locally behind Clearwater Central Catholic’s nine championships.  But only during a three-year stretch from 1997-99 was Jesuit to win those titles consecutively. 

That was the task the Tigers faced after taking home the 5A title last season. Jesuit said goodbye to 16 players who graduated, including Carson Bien, the 5A state player of the year. 

Losing that much talent off a roster would pose difficulties for any program. But Tigers always have reinforcements.

The newcomers filled in adequately. The holdovers took on bigger roles as leaders. The wins kept coming, so much Jesuit found itself in a familiar spot by making it back to Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand for Saturday’s 5A title match. 

But the Tigers could not hold on to a first half lead, falling in overtime to Belen Jesuit 2-1.

In the first half, Jesuit took the lead on a goal from Ty Cabbasa. Belen Jesuit answered early in the second half on a header from Aidan Miles to tie the match. 

It stayed that way through the end of regulation and one overtime period. 

In the second overtime, the Wolverines converted on a second-chance ball off a free kick to take the lead.

Jesuit tried to rally but could not get a shot to fall through the net that would have tied the match.

Continue Reading


Copyright © Prime Time Preps

%d bloggers like this: