BROOKSVILLE – The battle for district 7 was on Wednesday night at Nature Coast with the visiting Pasco Pirates (14-0-3) prevailing 2-1 in a fast, hard fought contest.
It was easy to see why the two teams are number 1 and number 2 in FHSAA 3A, District 7. With the score tied and the play even at the water break, Nature Coast (12-6-1) struck first at the 33-minute mark, Sharks Captain Vinny Stulec got a ball past Pirates keeper Agustus Huff on a feed from fellow senior Chris Reckner to open the scoring.
The Stulec goal was the only score in the opening session although Pasco had several shots on goal in the half, all thwarted by Justice Pye, the Sharks junior keeper. Pye stopped 6 Pirate shots on the night.
In the second half ten minutes in, Pasco’s Migual Flores beat Pye on the right side on a feed from sophomore Landon Surratt to tie the game at 1-all.
Just after the second half water break with 14 minutes remaining in the game, Flores was tripped in the box and the Pirates were awarded a penalty shot. Jason Nicolette, the Pirates top scorer, took the try. The attempt was partially blocked by Pye but managed to sneak over the goal line into the left corner of the net for Nicolette’s 22nd goal of the season and a 2-1 Pasco lead.
A strong Sharks rally in the closing three minutes of the game came up short and the Pasco Pirates came away with their unbeaten record in tact and all but sealed the number 1 seed in the District tournament that will begin January 28th at Hernando High School with the Championship game February 1st at 7pm.