The holiday break officially ended Thursday night as high school soccer action resumed. The unbeaten Cape Coral Seahawks barely skipped a beat and after 20 days off they dealt the Ida Baker Bulldogs a 1-0 defeat at Bulldog Stadium.
The win is the fifth in a row for the Seahawks since tying Golden Gate on Dec. 3. It's also their 10th shutout win of the season.
The Seahawks scored the game's only goal with less than three minutes left in the first half on Kevin Lopera's 20-yard blast inside the right post. Oscar Camacho was credited with the assist in front of the Baker net.
"It is very difficult to break through a well-organized defense," said Seahawks coach Aldo Nardiello. "They counter attacked very well. It's a good strategy, but we've seen it often."
The speed and defensive back line of the Seahawks made trying to score miserable for the Bulldogs all night. The Bulldogs got off just three shots on goal and seven shots overall compared to the Seahawks with 12 shots on goal and 26 overall.
"I thought we played great tonight," said Bulldogs coach Justin Aulls. "I have nothing negative to say about my team. We let them come at us so we could counter attack. We were just unloucky not to get some points on the board."
While the Bulldogs had few scoring chances, the Seahawks had plenty. They had two shots go just over the crossbar in the first half, and in the second half missed one that skirted past the right post, had a right wing cross pass over the bar and land on top of the net and clanked one off the left post from close range.
"I'm more than thrilled with the win," said Nardiello. "Baker is a good team. We had to earn the win."
Aulls was pleased with the defensive effort from Alex Howard, Fabian Guzman and George Kucera in front of goalkeeper Rush Manterola, who finished with 10 saves.
Olivier Benedict and Jordan Taylor likewise were brilliant at turning away Bulldog penetrations. Their work was partly responsible for Cape goalkeeper Santi Villamil having to make just three saves.
The Bulldogs play at Bishop Verot while the Seahawks (12-0-1) host Charlotte Friday night.
Mariner 2, Riverdale 0: Josh Teeter and Tim Thomas scored goals in different halves to lift Mariner to victory over Riverdale at Tony McKenna Field.
Teeter scored just inside the box off a corner kick in the first half for what proved to be the game-winning goal. Daniel Rawley was taken down inside the penalty box in the second half with Thomas converting the penalty kick. Jacob Olmstead made six saves in goal for the Tritons.
"It was a good fight," said Tritons coach Martin Cardenas. "It was very physically demanding. Toby Lara had a good night on defense for us."
The Tritons (15-2-3) host Lehigh Friday night.
Ida Baker 1, Bishop Verot 1 (tie): Bishop Verot capitalized on Ida Baker's experimental alignment late in the game to force a tie at Viking Stadium.
Alexsys Vargas scored an unassisted goal for the Bulldogs in the first half, a lead that lasted until the tying goal in the second half. Goalkeeper Amanda Kopale made nine saves, but it was the coaching decision on the alignment that cost the Bulldogs the win.
"Bishop Verot is a good, quick team," said Bulldogs coach Dave Trepkowski. "I tried something different and they got the tying goal, but we held our own against them. It was a good game, no excuses."
Kelly Williamson scored the Vikings' tying goal with an assist from Lauren Cento. Goalkeepers Cailyn Rizzo and Chrissie Gibson combines for eight saves.
The teams agreed to go to penalty kicks at the end in preparation for district tournaments later this month, but the PKs also ended in a 4-4 tie.
The Bulldogs (16-1-4) play Saturday at Dunbar. The Vikings (8-1-2) travel to Gainesville High Friday night.
Mariner at Riverdale: Thursday's game was postponed because only one referee showed up. It has not been decided whether to make up the game later before the district tournament.
The Tritons play Friday at Lehigh.
Bishop Verot 66, Clewiston 30: Bishop Verot opened a gaping lead in the first quarter and cruised to victory over Clewiston.
Mason Taylor pitched in 19 points to go with nine rebounds to lead the Vikings. Ricky Doyle added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Vikings (10-2) play at Dunbar Saturday.
Clewiston 4 10 10 6 - 30
Bishop Verot 22 21 15 8 - 66
CLEWISTON 30 - Lee 7, J. Jackson 6, Brown 7, Boyd 2, A Jackson 8. Totals: 10 5-10 30. 3PG: Lee 1, J. Jackson 1, A. Jackson 1.
VEROT 66 - Wagner 8, Taylor 19, Baker 6, Hipler 2, Mosher 5, Wiliams 7, Doyle 15, Labreche 4. Totals: 29 5-8 66. 3PG: Wagner 2, Baker 1, Taylor 1, Mosher 1, Williams 1.