The No. 1 Pace Patriots and No. 2 Navarre Raiders proved why they are the top seeds in the District 1-4A tournament, shutting out their opponents 8-0 on Monday at the Santa Rosa Soccer Complex.
The Patriots came out strong in their game, building a 5-0 lead against No. 8 Pine Forest in the first half.
“We try and share the ball a lot and some nights that works better than others,” Pace coach David Seevers said. “Tonight was one of those nights. We were able to get a lot of players involved in the attack, and that’s what we like to do.”
Pace wasted no time, getting on the board early off of two quick goals before extending its lead to 3-0 after a direct kick from Taylor Burkhart sailed over the field and through the hands of the leaping Pine Forest keeper.
“I don’t think she expected that she was going to score,” Seevers said. “She was just looking to serve it, but she’s got a good leg. We expect that kind of thing out of her.”
Not long after and with no one around to contest her, Pace’s Claire Taylor followed with a score of her own to make it 4-0.
With time winding down in the first half, Pace’s Hannah Abrams scored an uncontested goal to make it 5-0 at the break.
Abrams opened the second with another goal, shooting from the corner, and the game ended shortly after as Caroline Torrens and Taylor scored back-to-back goals.
The Patriots face No. 4 Tate at 7 tonight at Milton High School in the semifinal round.
The Aggies defeated No. 5 Fort Walton Beach 5-1 to advance.
“I hope they’re going to give us a good game,” Seevers said. “I expect that they are. They’ve got a little bit of speed, a few players we’ll have to watch up top.
“You can’t plan on anything being easy, and we’re not planning on anything being easy. We hope to come out and implement the same strategy we did tonight and have the girls play at the same high energy level that they did tonight.”
Raiders shut out Bulldogs
The Navarre Raiders sent a message of their own, crushing No. 7 Crestivew 8-0 before the match was called during the first half.
The Raiders put huge pressure on the Bulldogs from the start, scoring immediately on back-to-back goals from Ella Burkhart.
Hannah Gullickson followed those with a goal of her own, and Navarre never looked back — pulling its starters after the first 20 minutes.
“I have four or five girls that have double digits in goals (this season),” Navarre coach Rob Simon said. “The nice part about this team is that they all work for each other. I have a team that works together; they all make things happen.”
Next up, Navarre will face No. 3 Niceville in today’s semifinal round.
The Eagles had to battle for their semifinal berth, nearly getting upset by No. 6 Milton before winning 2-1 in OT.
“We knew that we were going to have a shot,” Milton coach Jeff Klug said. “We knew that if we came out and played well, that we could give them a good game. They kept fighting against a team that’s been region finalists two years in a row.”
At Santa Rosa Soccer Complex
PACE 8, PINE FOREST 0
Pace (13-1-2) — Goals: Hannah Abrams 3, Taylor Burkhart, Claire Taylor 3, Caroline Torrens. Assists: Jordan Delaro, Christina Showalter, Taylor 2, Torrens, Alexis Lawson 2. Saves: Caitlyn Burkhart 1.
NAVARRE 8, CRESTVIEW 0
Navarre (14-3-3) — Goals: Ella Burkhart 2, Michaela Stone 2, Jade Whitley, Hannah Gullickson, Hunter Moorer, Jenny Fitzpatrick. Assists: Moorer, Gullickson, Bri Young, Gabby Armstrong, Sidney Whiteside, Melia Gross, Taylor Brown. Saves: Julianna Deselle, Ally Spicer.
TATE 5, FORT WALTON BEACH 1
Tate (10-7-1) — Goals: Hannah Hargett 4, Jennifer Clyde. Assists: Abby Edger, Alexa Harmon, Emi Newman, Jordan Mills 2. Saves: Susan Clyde 6.