The Mariner Tritons girls soccer team beat the North Fort Myers Red Knights 1-0 in District 3A-13 championship on Saturday at Mariner High
The Tritons (19-2-3), who won their first district championship in four seasons, will host District 3A-14 runner-ups Naples on Thursday at home in the Region 3A-3 quarterfinal. North Fort Myers (18-3-1) will travel to Barron Collier.
“They have a little bit more experience than us, but we were able to meld in some youth with some of our veteran players,” Mariner head coach Jefferson Swift said.
Offensive momentum was in favor of the Red Knights until nearly halfway through the first half when Mariner’s Taylor Yount buried a header past the Red Knight’s keeper.
North countered offensively with two near goals off corners, one of which that nearly tied the game — a header from Taylor Kruse bounced off the far-side post.
“We were on our heels quite a bit of the first half, but we didn’t get discouraged,” Swift said. “We got that one goal and we were just able to run out the clock.”
The Red Knights continued to get scoring opportunities throughout the first half, but were unable to pierce Mariner’s defense.
The second half leaned in favor of the Red Knights, too, but key defensive plays kept scoring opportunities to a minimum.
A tying attempt 20 minutes into the second half from North Fort Myers junior Nicole Pacquin slid high of the net from point-blank range.
The Tritons paid special attention to Kruse throughout the second half. The forward was only able to earn a few quality scoring opportunities as a result, two sailing wide.