A focus on the field helped carry Coral Shores High to a 5-1 victory in Monday’s girls soccer clash with county and district rival Key West West High.
The Conchs scored early to grab a 1-0 lead at George M. Barley Jr. Stadium in Tavernier but then the Lady Cane defense battened down the hatches.
Cane head coach Pat Fazio, now 3-1 in his first Coral Shores season, stresses to his players, “Don’t get distracted. You focus on the game.”
“We’ve been working not to get distracted by the refs, other players or the other team’s coaches,” Fazio said. “They’ve gotten tremendously better at it as the season has gone along.”
“I think we’ve got a better team than people realize,” Fazio said. “It’s a strong team now, and it hasn’t even gelled yet.”
Against Key West, both the offense and defense stepped up.
After the Conchs took the early lead, veteran Cane senior Haille Paterson scored from the right side. She then staked the Canes to a 2-1 lead on a penalty kick after being knocked down in the box.
Senior Audrey Butler nailed two goals and made an assist. Keeley Catarineau delivered two assists and scored one. Paris Gasser also notched an assist.
“Our defense played extremely well,” citing the teamwork of Emma Upchurch, Lily Costa, Kyla Catarineau and Mallory Hudson. “I’m very happy with the patience of their play.”
Cane goalie Makela Sowder made four saves.
Offensively, the Canes unleashed 15 shots at the Conch net. Key West keeper Emily Gardner “did a very good job,” Fazio said, “but we were able to finish nicely on a few of our shots.”
Fazio, a Florida Keys Soccer Club coach who has worked with Key West High coach Marc Pierre in youth soccer programs, downplayed the significance of a match against a local and District 16-2A rival.
“I don’t know the past history and I’m not trying to create any rivalries,” he said. “I’ve coached a lot of these kids on both sides. I want to help all our local teams be more successful when they play the teams from the mainland.”
The Lady Canes hosted Somerset Academy-Silver Palms on Tuesday (results pending), then travel to Key West for a Friday match against visiting Bay High School.
Conch boys win
A late header off a free kick let Key West High’s boys grab a 3-2 win over Coral Shores in a comeback victory Monday in Tavernier.
Coral Shores was ahead at halftime, 2-1, on a pair of goals by senior forward Maxx Dixon.
“Our forwards and midfielders played well but we made some mistakes on defense in the last 10 minutes,” Cane coach Jorge Bosque said. “Basically we shot ourselves in the foot.”
Several starting defenders only recently arrived after football season, he noted. “They’re good athletes but they’re not meshing as a group yet. We’ll get there.”
Key West got a pair of goals from senior Danny Kearny and a score from Nesly Louissant.
Coral Shores (1-2) tried to even is record Tuesday against Somerset Academy-Silver Palms in a home Tuesday match (results pending at press time).
The Canes travel to Westminster Christian on Friday, then go on Thanksgiving break until a Nov. 28 home match versus Florida Christian.
Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206