Melbourne High athletic director Fred Keeney, having seen plenty of the Melbourne-Viera girls soccer rivalry, summed it up for a fan: “Play until somebody wins.”
This time, it took nearly every second of two overtimes. Jordan Walsh scored off the rebound of her own penalty kick in the final two minutes for Viera’s 2-1 win in the District 6-4A championship game. Both teams earned regional playoff spots.
Nobody familiar with the series or recent history will be surprised if the two teams meet again. With wins on Thursday, they would play their third game of the year in the regional semifinal round.
“They’re very talented, and we have so much respect for them,” Walsh said. “It’s a very mental game for us, because they’re a hometown rival. They give us their best game, and we give them our best game, every time.”
This time, the Bulldogs struck first, Sarah Nies scoring nearly six minutes into the second half. Sixteen minutes later, Viera still trailed, but coach Courtney Baines Lundy still had faith in her team, the defending Class 4A state champions.
“To be honest, I had no doubt that we would fight,” she said. “Early on, we were nervous and frantic. I think (trailing) brought us back together.”
And Brooke Walsh’s goal, off an assist from Hollyn Knight, brought them into a tie at 1 with 18:25 remaining in regulation. Neither team scored again until Walsh’s winner, though the Hawks (17-1-1) appeared to be the aggressor for most of the rest of the way.
At Satellite, top-seeded Merritt Island won District 12-3A with a 5-1 victory over Rockledge. The Mustangs built on a 2-1 halftime advantage.
At Cocoa, Edgewood won District 8-2A, 1-0 over Cocoa Beach. Layne Greenfield assisted the goal of Erin Cullen.
Indians coach Craig Calhoun credited his team’s counter attack.
“We really kept pushing and pushing, and we got it up and around them,” Cullen said.
Holy Trinity’s District 10-1A final at Vero Beach St. Edward’s was postponed. It will be played Saturday at 6 p.m.
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_McCallum and at facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum.