Local soccer teams fall in postseason

Posted on 06 February 2014 by LeslieM

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

The Highlands Christian Academy and Deerfield Beach high school boys’ soccer teams reached the postseason this season with high expectations.

Highlands Christian (13-6) won the district title and made it to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2006 when it fell to Palmer Trinity, 3-1. The Knights were ousted in the regional quarters in the five appearances since then.

Unfortunately for the Knights, Sagemont (18-7-1) advanced to the regional finals with a 4-0 victory over host Highlands Christian on Tuesday night.

Sophomore Carlos Pan gave the Lions a 1-0 halftime lead when he scored on a header in the 21st minute. Freshman Karl Ackermann scored the first of three second half goals for Sagemont off a cross by junior Marco Wehrhahn in the 53rd minute. Sagemont added its own goal and a final tally by freshman Braedon Villano to end Highlands’ season. Ryan Theimer recorded 13 saves in his sixth shutout of the year.

Highlands Christian Academy coach Darryl Mauro said he was pleased with his team’s performance, especially considering his team had just three full time soccer players. He was also happy to coach with his son Daniel, an HCA graduate, who won national titles while at Clearwater Christian College.

We had two players, Lucas Almeida and Caleb Bien- Aime finish with 17 goals and double figures with assists and our goalkeeper, Zach Mueller finished with nine clean sheets (shutouts),” Mauro said. “Sophomores Elijah Kerr, Evan Henderson, and Vitor Lima both improved on both sides of the ball and newcomers Brandly Martina, Ayrton Barbolinea, Ray Melfor all played a big role in our postseason run.”

Deerfield Beach made its fourth appearance in the playoffs in school history under Coach Frantz Edouard – 2009, 2012, 2013 were the others – and fell to Boca Raton last Thursday night in the regional quarterfinals thanks to a topflight performance by the Bobcats’ Sebastian Elney, who spent last year with the U.S. Soccer Under-17 residency program in Bradenton.

Elney had three goals in the contest to lead host Boca Raton (21-1-2) to a 3-0 victory over Deerfield Beach in the Class 5A boys’ soccer regional quarterfinal. Boca Raton advanced to this Friday’s regional final after defeating Douglas, 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Deerfield Beach (18-3-4) had the better play in the early going with nothing to show for it. Boca Raton goalkeeper Collin Foody made three saves for his 11th shutout of the season.

The Bucks’ best chance to score came in the 68th minute when Matheus Pereira took a free kick that Foody got a hand on. The ball deflected to Romilaire Ambrose, whose shot was headed off the goal line by defender Aaron Kleinert.

We are disappointed,” said Deerfield Beach soccer coach Frantz Edouard. “The first goal hurt, but the second one broke our back. We had a great season. The number 23 (Elney) was the difference maker for them.”

Edouard’s team had the harder road in the playoffs as it finished runner-up in the district to Douglas.

It didn’t work out,” Edouard said. “Obviously, we had a good season, not a great season, because we wanted to advance far in the playoffs. We have been here before, but we haven’t been able to get over the hump. It’s a bit of a disappointing season for us.”

Edouard, who is in his eighth year at the school, believes his team will be in the postseason again and expects his team to go far.

We graduate about four or five players, but honestly the core of the team will be back again next year,” Edouard said. “Hopefully, we will be back … and be victorious.”

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