The JP Taravella boys soccer season hopes of a strong push in the playoffs came to a screeching halt when they fell to Gulf Coast, 1-0 on Wednesday in the District 13-7A semifinal at Western High School.
With an overall ranking of 113 entering the semifinal, the Trojans (8-5-2) still have an outside chance of advancing to the regional playoffs, based on the new playoff structure introduced by the Florida High School Athletic Association this season.
Gulf Coast entered the contest with an overall ranking of 163. The Sharks (6-8-5), located in Naples, will play Cypress Bay (11-1-5) for the district championship tonight at Western High School. The four district winners and the next four teams, based on rankings, advance in regional play.
“I doubt we will make regionals, but technically there is still a chance,” said Taravella boys coach Todd Schoonover. “They scored in the first quarter on an excellent header off a wonderful set-piece delivery, dropped into a 4-5-1 and defended their lead throughout the game.
“It was a tough loss,” Schoonover added. “We played sloppily, and we didn't take advantage of our opportunities. Sometimes you have games like that, where you're knocking at the door for a large part of the game and you come up short. The goal from Gulf Coast was top drawer, from the delivery to the finish. The header went top corner.”