SEMINOLE — The Seminole High School boys soccer team’s state championship journey ended with a 2-1 loss against Lely High School at home Feb. 19.
This game between the Warhawks and the Naples-area school, which both made it into the Elite 8 this season, was the tournament’s regional final.
The game was tied 0-0 at halftime and Lely scored its first goal “on a bad bounce” in the second half, said Seminole Coach Rick Masi.
Warhawks forward Joey Reichert eventually scored to tie the game, but Lely came back with the game-winning goal on a corner kick.
“The better team on the night won,” Masi said. “We knew what they were going to do, pressing us high and early. We lost our mental toughness and composure and focus, which caused us to panic and not play our system.”
Leading up to this game, the team “had a great run, winning 16 (games) in a row,” he added. “They played with pride and passion all season and became a band of brothers. I could not be more proud of them.”
The Warhawks ended the season with a 20-5-1 record. According to MaxPreps.com, the team is ranked No. 90 nationally and No. 40 in the state.
The team graduates 10 seniors this year.
“They will be hard to replace, but somehow, year after year, our Seminole boys are competitive, a tribute to the local clubs,” Masi said. “We have another good bunch returning. I look for Seminole to be a major force again next season.”