Seabreeze gains momentum with 5-0 win over FPC
Not only were the Seabreeze girls playing for themselves against Flagler’s Palm Coast on Saturday, November 20, they were also playing for dozens of their predecessors.
The Sandcrabs’ 5-0 win at FPC’s Sal Campanella was their first against the Bulldogs in 11 seasons.
“That’s a big deal for us,” said Emily Myers, who scored twice for Siberis (2-2).
“This year we were really prepared for this game,” Myers said. “We came to realize that whoever scored the first goal, that’s where the momentum is going.”
Sure enough, after an even battle for most of the first half, sophomore Kayleigh Watson netted a corner kick, and minutes later, Myers made it 2-0 with a curved shot into the upper left corner of the goal.
Myers then made it 3-0 early in the second half from a corner kick.
“Our goal is to score at the beginning and end of each half,” Myers said.
The match was the eventual finale of the FPC Soccer Showcase, although it was not officially part of the event.
The match was rescheduled from November 15 and added to the weekend roster after a Showcase participant Vero Beach had a conflict and was unable to play a second match.
“They weren’t part of the show,” FPC coach Pete Hald said of the Sandcrabs. “But the way they played it had to be.”
The show featured three state champions in Bartram Trail, Ponte Vedra, and Lakeland Christian. The Jacksonville Bulls, the fourth Showcase team, lost the regional finals last season but won the state championship from 2018 to 2020.
Hald said that the purpose of the event, besides providing a showcase for area football experts, is to increase the schedule strength of the Bulldogs and other participating teams.
The strength of the schedule is one of the rating criteria that determines the big stadiums in the post-season playoffs.
“We came to realize that whoever scored the first goal, that’s where the momentum is going.”
Emily Myers, Seabreeze Forward
Ponte Vedra beat the FPC 4-0 on the first day of the show. The Bulldogs (3-2-1) played both games without injuring many players. New goalkeeper Sage Strickland was playing in her first game after rookie Kaitlyn Holly suffered a concussion against DeLand on November 16.
This victory is the second in a row for Sandkrabs, who beat Gainesville 4-0 on November 16 to achieve their first victory.
“We’ve gained momentum,” said Seabreeze coach Eli Fredus.
That was evident during the match as Seabreeze dominated the second half and Isabella Castillo and Nicole Dean scored.
“Our defense was on point. Our midfield was winning all the balls,” said Avery Dillinger, Seabreeze goalkeeper. “I had nothing to do in the second half.”
“The game is dictated by confidence,” Hald said. “And the Seabreeze took over. That’s what goals do, they build your confidence as you venture. They were hungry.”
Since 2010, Seabreeze has drawn multiple times in the FPC and lost a few close matches, including his 1-0 decision last season, but Sandcrabs haven’t won 18 consecutive games between Five Star Conference competitors.
“This is just the beginning,” Myers said.
“We’re looking forward to a really good season,” Dillinger added.
The Sandcraps will have a tough road match against Ponte Vedra on Monday, November 29th. The FBC team (3-2-1) will host Orange City University on November 29th.