Bye, bye Indians
GAINESVILLE — Maybe it should have been called.
Maybe it shouldn’t have.
It was certainly questionable.
But worst of all for the Indians, it was deflating.
With Fort White trailing Newberry 1-0 in the 53rd minute, Taylor Miller was called for extending her arm at an opposing player in the penalty box. It set up a penalty kick for Britney Walsh, who drilled it passed Indians’ goalkeeper Sypress Moore to double the Panthers’ lead.
Fort White never recovered, eventually falling to Newberry 3-0 in a District 5-2A quarterfinal at P.K. Yonge High School Tuesday evening.
Newberry advances to face Santa Fe in the district semifinals today.
“It’s a tough call to take. It almost decides the game for you, and it really takes the wind out of the girls’ sails,” Fort White head coach Ward Frisina said.
Frisina was visibly frustrated, considering the Indians were riding some momentum in the match. Just 10 minutes earlier, they nearly tied the score when Mallory Sealy’s shot hit the left post and rolled along the goal line yet never crossed it.
It was just one of a few instances on a night when the Indians couldn’t catch a break. They even scored the Panthers’ first goal.
Scarlet MacDonald sent a corner kick from the right side into the penalty box in the fifth minute that rolled passed multiple players to the left corner of the goal. Kayla Hintz tried to clear it, but it took an unfortunate bounce off her leg and into the net.
“We’ve had trouble all year with corner kicks,” Frisina said. “Girls turned their bodies and it got deflected toward the goal. One girl tried to clear it, but it probably would have gone in either way, so it was just a bad mistake.”
Fort White could never gather enough momentum after Walsh’s goal. After that, Newberry went for the kill as well, attacking relentlessly for the remainder of the match and finally connecting for a third and final goal when Jamaica Anderson assisted Brianna Zayas for a score in the 76th minute.
The Panthers outshot the Indians (6-17-3) 18-9 in the game. It was the third straight shut out in the series after Fort White (6-17-3) and Newberry (9-7-2) each won by a score of 2-0 during the regular season.
It was a disappointing end to the season but one that was full of plenty of learning lessons for a young group of Indians that includes nine sophomores and five freshmen.
“I’m very proud of my girls,” Frisina said. “They played a great season. We achieved most of our goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year, and I couldn’t ask for a better set of girls.”
Fort White (6-13, 4-7) lost to Union County 76-65 in a district game at home Tuesday night.
Fort White defeated Union County 40-35 in a district game at home Tuesday night.