|Flying L’s||St. Thomas Aquinas|
The Flying L boys’ soccer team prevailed two goals to one over the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders in the Class 6A Region 4 semifinals on Saturday. Despite a chill taking over the pitch on account of cloud cover throughout the game, with temperatures in the mid-sixties and winds gusting heavily to the south, the game was a heated affair that came down to the wire.
St. Thomas opened the scoring in the 19th minute, taking advantage of a free kick conceded by the Flying L’s 15 yards out from goal. They were caught off guard just minutes later, however, when a carbon copy opportunity was given to the Flying L’s 20 yards out from the St. Thomas goal. The Flying L’s took advantage and tied the score at one apiece in the 22nd minute.
Halftime came with the crowd deriding the referees for blowing for halftime in the middle of a Flying L attack. Though the fans made their displeasure known, they generally remained civil throughout the match.
The second half began with several close shots for both teams missing. The tension ratcheted up, and it showed in the referee’s book, as four of the five yellow cards during the match were shown in the second half. One Flying L was booked for verbal misconduct; another was sent off for drawing his second yellow, prompting more shouting from the crowd.
Finally, in the 76th minute and with extra time looking likely, the Flying Ls broke through the solid defense to score the decisive goal. The crowd roared, sending off the St. Thomas team to cheers of “Go home, Raiders!” as the rain that had been threatening all night burst through.
Despite artificial noisemakers and instruments being explicitly banned after the previous match, the atmosphere was lively and the cheering from both sides never tepid. Flying L fans were cheering to the direction of a few extroverted leaders chanting “We believe we can win!”, repeating each word and adding another until the full phrase was chanted. Approximately 100 fans were in attendance in the home stands, including the principal, Mrs. Brown, with her family.
The Flying L’s now face a tough regional final opponent in Doral Academy, the number one ranked team in Florida’s Class 6A. But if anyone can beat Doral, it’s the Flying L’s, ranked seventh and on a roll. That game is on Tuesday 23 at 7 pm, at Doral.
|Doral Academy Preparatory School||Flying L’s|
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