ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood SKY Storm girls soccer team’s dream of a Florida Suncoast League championship ended Wednesday as they lost to regular-season champion Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences 5-0 in Sarasota.
The Storm finished the season with an 8-2 record. They had lost to SSAS 2-0 in the regular season. This was the second straight season the Storm girls had finished second in the league. It was an outstanding season for the Storm.
“I’m so proud of the girls and the season they played,” said Storm head coach Erica Olson. “They played the whole season with such determination and grit yet we came up a little short in the championship. I am so proud of the girls bringing home second place in the league. A special thank you to all of our parents and community support throughout the season.”
Englewood SKY gained the finals by blanking visiting Lincoln of Bradenton 2-0 in the semifinals Tuesday at the Englewood Sport Park. The first half ended with a scoreless tie, but Englewood SKY gradually took control offensively.
Jacoby Maldonado scored the first goal about 10 minutes into the second half on a 15-yard kick which went into the net above the Trojans’ goalie. That was Jacoby’s 23rd goal of the season, leading the team in that category. Naz Graham scored the second goal for the winners from about five yards out. It was her first goal of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Storm.
Lincoln, which lost to the Storm 3-2 in the final regular-season match two weeks ago, seemed to control the match for much of the first half with a lot of quickness up field. They had four shots on goal to one for the Storm in the first half, but the hosts came back strong in the second half.
“We just dug down and came back hard,” said Olson. “We were missing some of our best players because they were sick, including two of our top in MacKenzie Kelley and Kerri Matson.”
Maddy Reis-Elbara was a standout in goal for the Storm. She made several strong saves when the Trojans were putting pressure on Englewood SKY.
The Storm baseball team has begun its first-ever season. The golf team plays its first opponent, Venice SKY, April 4, at Myakka Pines Golf Club. Englewood SKY’s first tennis match is April 2 against ODA at the Englewood Sports Park.