The Lady Conchs suffered their 7th loss of the season against American Heritage this evening. The Patriots had control of the game from the very start and never let up once. American Heritage came out on top 3-0. Despite the loss, head coach Scott Paul seemed pleased with the result.
“That was unquestionably the best we have ever played against an American Heritage team. Keeping it down to 3-0 is spectacular for the level of recruiting and the level of player talent that they have across the board which speaks volumes of where we are this year as a team,” said Paul.
In the 11th minute off of a beautiful cross, the Patriots were able to tap the ball into the back of the net. Although American Heritage had possession for most of the game, the Lady Conchs were able to hold their own on defense. The Patriots wouldn’t score again until the 33rd minute. At the half, American Heritage was leading 2-0 over Key West.
In the second half, Alana Estenoz would go in as keeper for Emily Gardner. The Lady Conchs’ backline, led by senior Julia Passarelli, was able to keep the Patriots from scoring until the 52nd minute. The Patriots forward would shoot and the ball would be deflected by a Key West defender. Off of that deflection, Heritage would score its third goal of the game.
In the 56th minute, the Patriots would be rewarded a penalty kick and nearly score for the fourth time. Estenoz would make an incredible stop and keep the game at 3-0.
“Alana made a spectacular stop. The girl tried to get her to dive but the shot went straight. Alana waited and stayed and the fact that it was a foot save, was even better. That was fantastic and it was huge for her confidence and great for us,” said Paul.
American Heritage wouldn’t score again and the final score would stand at 3-0.
“When some teams come and play us, they back it in and don’t go for the win. They come for a tie. With their whole team back there, it was hard for us to score. It was a great game,” said American Heritage head coach Cindy Marcial.
“You’re not going to judge whether you beat them or not as your only success. You’re going to judge how well you played against basically a small college. We’ve been mercy ruled so many times by them and the idea that the final score is only 3-0 is great. This was a great learning experience against one of the best teams in the state,” said Paul.
Over Christmas break, the boys’ team travels to Orlando to play in the Hickory Point Invitational. The tournament showcases some of the best teams in the nation, including former number 5 in the nation Choctawhatchee High School. As for the Lady Conchs, they open up the New Year playing Keys’ rival Marathon on the 6th, then play Ransom Everglades on the 9th. Both games will be played at home.
As for now, both teams leave Heritage Field with an even stronger sense of confidence and pride heading towards the state playoffs.