SEBASTIAN — Striker Adan Pena scored two goals and led Sebastian River to a 3-2 victory over South Fork in Wednesday’s district semi-final game.
The win assures the Sharks will advance to regionals. Sebastian River coach Kurt Bangert said it felt good to lock up a spot in regionals and go into the district final against the winner of the Port St. Lucie vs. Martin County game unencumbered.
“The big thing is that no matter what happens in the final tomorrow night, they know that we aren’t going home,” Bangert said. “Winning in the post season has always been tough for this team, but this game allowed them to get some of their nerves out.”
Sebastian scored first when Pena beat the South Fork goalie with a well-placed passing shot at 26:58 in the first period. Oswaldo Mojica scored at 18:37 in the second half with a right-footer past the goalie, to put the Sharks up 2-0 over the Bulldogs.
After that is when the real game began, and both teams turned up the intensity. South Fork broke their scoring drought when a long, bending shot from well-past the top of the box found the top-left corner of the net at 16:06 to play.
Adan Pena countered at 15:00 when he beat the Bulldog’s goalie to the upper-right corner of the net to make the score 3-1. South Fork countered with another goal at 3:31, making the score 3-2.
Neither team scored again, and Sebastian River weathered the South Fork flurry of offense to improve to 17-1 on the year.
Coach Bangert gave the Bulldogs credit for playing a good game.
“That No. 7 from South Fork hit two good shots,” said Bangert. “That was as good as anything we’ve seen so far, just beautiful shots. Every team comes out here not wanting their season to end, and we knew (South Fork) was going to give us everything they had tonight.”
“Now that they know their season isn’t over, they can go out and play a solid championship game tomorrow,” added Bangert. “Games aren’t played on paper, they are played out here. That’s something that we have to get through out heads when we come out to play the final tomorrow.”
Thursday’s district final is 7 p.m. tomorrow at Shark Stadium.