After two years of their season ending in the regional final, Merritt Island’s girls soccer players made sure of a state trip on Friday, rolling past Largo 5-0 in the Class 3A playoffs.
In New Port Richey, Viera had to come from two goals behind for a 4-3 win over Mitchell. Hope Leonard scored with three minutes to play for the win.
Thursday, the Mustangs will take the field at Eastern Florida State College as state semifinalists.
“All through it, Olivia (Bergau) and I just kept looking at each other waiting for that moment when we’d get some opportunities,” said Raelynn Vigue. She and Bergau were seniors playing their last home game a year after they suffered season-ending injuries within a week of each other.
The opportunities came. Bergau scored twice, and Vigue assisted on a goal as the Mustangs improved to 19-2-1, ending the Packers’ season at 17-7-1.
“We’re still on that rise,” Bergau said. “We were able to find the goal and finish, most of all.”
Several Merritt Island players finished. Mikaela Hakamaa, Kayli Jacobs and Keli Lindquist each scored. In addition to Vigue, Julia Martin and Lindquist assisted other goals.
Merritt Island’s Julia Martin controls the ball in front of Largo’s Kiely Buckowski (9) during Friday’s regional championship game
The Mustangs last went to a state tournament in 2011, when they lost in overtime to George Steinbrenner in the championship game. The year before, they had defeated Bartram Trail on penalty kicks for a 4A championship.
Viera will make its first appearance in the state tournament. The Hawks also got goals from Hollyn Knight, Brookelyn Walsh and Tori Clark.
Melbourne, Rockledge, MIC win girls basketball titles
In Titusville, the host Terriers fell in the District 14-5A final to top-seeded Rockledge, 72-52.
“It’s been a great year,” said coach Reuben Williams. “These are a great group of ladies, and they pulled through.”
Rockledge will open regional play at home on Thursday, while Titusville will travel.
Melbourne will also be at home, where the Bulldogs have not lost. Melbourne won its 11th consecutive game at Martin County, defeating No. 1 seed Sebastian River, 42-40. Mya Jackson blocked a shot with 2 seconds remaining to preserve the win. She scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Abby Booth added 11.
“Over the course of the season, they’ve really come together,” Bulldogs coach Rob Apsey said. “On any given night, someone steps up.”
In Port St. Lucie, Merritt Island Christian won the District 11-2A final, 65-34 over host Morningside. The Cougars improved to 15-0. Olivia Powers scored 22 points and Jayla Johnson added 18.
Kyle Coppa-Cross contributed to this report.