Junior Monique Elliott converted her second penalty kick in regional soccer playoffs, the latest one coming Friday night in Ida Baker's 1-0 victory at Lakewood Ranch in the girls' Region 4A-3 semifinals.
The Bulldogs did not advance past the regional semifinals either of the previous two years they made it this far. The third time was the charm for the Bulldogs (23-2-4).
Lakewood Ranch was whistled for a handball violation inside the penalty area about three minutes before halftime, setting up Elliott's game-winning shot that glanced off the keeper's hand before settling into the net.
"Our defense played exceptionally well," said Bulldogs coach Dave Trepkowski. "The outshot us significantly, but they didn't get many shots in close. They were taking urgent crosses trying to get a head or foot on the ball and out run us."
Defenders Rachel Swisher and Emily Gibson made several crucial stops in front of goalkeeper Amanda Kopale.
The Bulldogs play their first regional final match Tuesday at Seminole, which ousted Tampa Plant.