Lutz- Yellow cards appeared like mosquitoes on a humid night as the Warriors (6-1-1)(3-0-1) defeated district rival East Lake(9-1)(3-1) in a physical 3-1 final.
“We talked about this game and our approach. We along with every other team in our district have the skill to win but the mental toughness is the key” said head coach Chad Ebright.
The Warriors spent the first 14 minutes with a flawless style of play. Due to great saves and a couple of missed opportunities, the Warriors just couldn’t connect with the net until seconds after a corner kick from sophomore Michael Connell. After a quick touch off of the ball which landed in the box, senior captain Blake Wilson put the first point on the board with a kick into the right side of the net.
“We always try to play our style of soccer and trying to make our opponents adapt to us. That’s what we kept doing all night long” said Ebright.
It wouldn’t be until 18 minutes remained of the first half when the Warriors struck again, making the Eagles very impatient and frustrated. This goal came from another set up by Connell, who had two assists on the night, giving an easy goal opportunity to MaxPreps player of the game, senior captain, Noah Keene.
With ten minutes left of the first half, Eagle Pierre Goris took a ball off an assist from one of his teammates and put their first score on the board making it 2-1 in Steinbrenner’s favor.
“We had the lead and knew they were gonna come back but we kept the pressure up and I got a lucky ball landing at my feet and I put it in” said Saenz.
After 23 minutes of play, on a controversial call that could’ve been called offside’s, Saenz put a ball into the net directly around the East Lake goalie making the game 3-1 and silencing the East Lake offense for good. A total of eight yellow cards and one ejection were given out Tuesday night, most of them appearing in the second half.
“It was intense and we got a lot of yellow cards but we still came away with the win” said Saenz.
The Warriors will go on to play district and hometown rival Sickles (7-2-1) Friday night at home.
Evan Abramson / Senior Staff Writer