Thursday, February 21, 2019
Lynn Ramsey - Florida Catholic
DELAND â€“ Maya Alicea scored first, but then the rest of the match belonged to Jacksonville Bolles.
Avery Patterson’s penalty kick in the 34th minute ignited a five-goal run Wednesday to help the Bulldogs defeat the Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs 5-1 in the Class 2A state girls soccer championship match.
Cardinal Gibbons (18-2-4) stood toe to toe with the now-eight-time champ Bulldogs in the first half.
Alicea, a University of South Florida signee, took a through ball from Kayla Patterson. Once Alicea entered the box, she juked her way past Bolles keeper Claire Cywes and scored to put the Chiefs up 1-0.
Patterson then brought the Bulldogs (19-3-2) into a 1-1 tie with a penalty kick.
“They have a really good front line, and they know how to execute on balls,” Alicea said. “They’re really good players. Our defense did our best to hold them up, but they’re a really strong team.
Bolles broke free for three goals in a three-minute span. Olivia Candelino, who had an assist, ignited the run by ricocheting a shot off the left post into the lower right corner for a 2-1 lead in the 47th minute. Candelino then fed Izzy Kimberly for a wide-open shot in the 49th minute. Patterson capped the run by getting off a shot against two players into the lower left corner of the goal.
“In the second half, we started spreading out more and making more runs off the ball in the final third,” Patterson said. “We really spread out their defense, so we could find pockets and seams in their back line.”
Cardinal Gibbons coach Margo Flack said it would be a challenge to control Bolles’ stars. She lauded the Chiefs for their first-half showing, then lauded them for fighting until the end.
“In the second half they took over, because that’s the type of players they are,” Flack said.
Bolles kept Cardinal Gibbons freshman goalkeeper Alexia Deveaux busy. Deveaux made 12 saves, including several saves off dives and a few more off tips over the goal.
“The goalie was amazing,” Candelino said. “She had a lot of good saves. If she wasn’t in the goal, there would’ve been a lot more (goals).”
Cardinal Gibbons advanced to their first state final since 2009. Flack said the key was a January schedule in which the Chiefs played several larger teams. Cardinal Gibbons went 4-0-3 in that stretch, including three consecutive ties against Davie Western, Boca Raton and Weston Cypress Bay.
“Playing with them, whether it was a tie or a win, gave the girls some confidence,” Flack said.
That schedule helped the Chiefs win a few close games in the playoffs. Three of their four wins to reach DeLand were by one goal.
Alicea said that the 3-2 win against Carrollton School in Coconut Grove especially drove the Chiefs. “The Carrollton game, with us down 2-0, we didn’t quit,” Alicea said. “This team never quits. This team’s amazing. When we beat Carrollton, we knew we could hang with the biggest and best teams.”
Alicea hopes that the Chiefs will make the next step and ultimately win state. Flack said that journey can wait. She wants Cardinal Gibbons to savor this year.
“We talked about that just this week, how this is every team’s goal â€“ everyone wants to be in the state title game,” Flack said. “But when it comes down to it, there are only 10 teams that are here. To be one of those teams, we knew this group was special. They never give up. We’ve won some really difficult games along the way. I think that’s what got them here.”