Article Written by Jason Beede beedefoto.com , HSPN Sports Student Intern – Key West High School
Both the Key West High girls’ and boys’ teams were able to take care of business last night despite the gloomy and muddy conditions. The Lady Conchs defeated the Westminster Christian Warriors 6-2, and the boys fought a tough battle and came out on top 5-3 over the Warriors. Both teams picked up critical District 16 wins.
“It was huge. The field was soaking wet and many of the players were slipping every other play. When the ball would fly in the air and land, it would gain speed because of the water around it. The boys were able to keep the ball on the ground and keep passing,” said boys’ head coach Marc Pierre.
In the 12th minute of the ladies’ game, junior Angela Niles was able to score and give Key West an early advantage. Nearing the end of the half, Niles found another opportunity to score giving the Lady Conchs a 2-0 lead at halftime. The Westminster offense would struggle to get any sort of ball movement in the first half.
However, the Warriors would reduce their deficit to one by scoring in the 53rd minute making the game 2-1. Key West would have none of it. After picking up a victory for the girls’ basketball team, Lily Bailey would come in the game and score just minutes after Westminster would get on the board. Bailey plays for both the girls’ basketball and soccer teams. Minutes later, after a cross from Niles, freshman Sophie Robino would volley the ball past the Westminster goalie giving the Lady Conchs a 4-1 advantage in the 57th minute.
Niles would complete the hat trick and score off of a free kick from 30 yards plus in the 59th minute. Key West would score again and minutes before the final whistle, the Warriors find the back of the net making the final score Key West 6, Westminster Christian 2.
The boys’ game would start in the early evening. After a competitive first 20 minutes from both sides, Westminster Christian would break the ice with a booming kick giving the Warriors a 1-0 lead. Minutes later, Key West’s Danny Kearny would have a bad break attempting to pass the ball to the Conchs’ goalie Christian Lee and inadvertently score for the other team. The error by Kearny gave the Warriors a two score lead in the 31st minute. At this point, Key West was furious with its lackluster defense.
As time was winding down before half, Key West would show life on offense. Adam Swiecicki was able to make a run and score making the score 2-1 in the 37th minute.
Just two minutes into the second half, Bidue Noel would tie it all up at 2 after one-on-one goal with the Westminster Christian goalie. After another costly error by Key West’s goalie Christian Lee, Westminster Christian would take the lead right back in the 46th minute.
The Conchs offense would penetrate the Warrior’s backline and nearly score. However, Key West would be awarded a penalty kick after a Westminster Christian defender shoved Jeremy Tilus in the box. Striker Patrick Matysik would take the PK and once again tie the score, this time at 3 in the 62st minute. Five minutes later, Tilus would get another chance to score and this time he connected. The Conchs would have a 4-3 lead over the Warriors in the 67th minute. Matysik’s night would not be finished. In the 77th minute, the junior would score giving Key West a two point advantage. The Conchs were able to hold on and defeat Westminster Christian 5-3.
“I was very happy on how we were able to turn it around. I am very proud of the boys. The other team started out really strong and put a lot of pressure on us. They had a really good team, but we just kept on going as we did not want to lose,” said Pierre.
This morning both teams faced off against the Coral Springs Charter Panthers. Overnight, the field had dried and the rain had passed making the conditions for these games much better.
The Lady Conchs picked up where they left off last night by defeating Coral Springs Charter 3-0. Senior Tatum Flowers, Robino and Niles were able to score and lead Key West to its 4th straight victory.
As for the boys, it was a different story. Shorthanded in the first half due to SAT this morning and tired after last night’s thrilling victory, the Conchs struggled on offense. Bidue Noel and Adam Swiecicki nearly scored but after fantastic stops by the Coral Springs Charter goalie, it was 0-0 at the half.
The Panthers started off physical in the second half and caught the Key West goalie out too far from the net. Coral Springs was able to catch the defense off guard and break the 0-0 tie in the 52nd minute. Early in the second half, Key West was down one goal.
Only five minutes later, the Panthers had a free kick after a hard foul by Key West. The ball would hover over the defense and find the back left side of the net putting the Panthers on top 2-0 in the 57th minute. However due to excessive celebration, the Coral Springs striker would receive a yellow card.
Unlike last night, the Conchs were unable to come back down 2-0. Despite a goal from junior Danny Kearny in the 61st minute, Springs Charter would hold their own and score again. The final score would be Coral Springs Charter 3, Key West 1.
The Lady Conchs (6-5-1) now look towards playing against District foe Gulliver Prep on the 10th away. The boys’ team (8-2) also travel on the 10th to battle the Gulliver Prep Raiders, but first host Keys rival Coral Shores on the 8th.
“I am very proud of my boys. We can’t win them all. It was a tough loss, but I am happy we were able to win last night against Westminster Christian,” said Pierre.