News-Sun photo by DAN HOEHNE Josianna Fils got Avon Park on the board in the final minutes Monday, ending the Devils season on a positive note.
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published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Lady Devils finish soccer season on high note
By DAN HOEHNE
LAKE PLACID - It came to an end Monday night, this latest edition of Avon Park girls soccer.
And though it ended in a 5-1 loss to DeSoto in the District 10-2A Tournament, there were plenty of positives taken from this night as well as the season on the whole.
"They had beaten us before with their running and that was something we wanted to control," first-year head coach Chris Sboto said afterward. "The girls really did a good job of that tonight which shows how much they are improving."
The Lady Devils had fallen to DeSoto by 6-0 and 5-0 scores during the regular season, but were holding them in predominant check early on in this latest go-round.
In fact, during the first 10 minutes, it was pretty much an overall stalemate with Avon Park getting out in its' fair share of attacking runs.
At the 8:40 mark, however, the Lady Bulldogs got on the board when sophomore keeper Rosa Cuellar got caught in no-man's land.
Racing out to corall a loose ball, a quick-moving DeSoto forward got to the ball first and flipped it past for the opening score.
Later, at the 15:08 mark of the game, a corner kick lead to the second score for the Bulldogs.
Booted into the box, the ball was jostled around in a mass of swirling feet.
Suddenly it appeared nestled between the feet of a Devil defender, when a DeSoto player forced it, literally, through the wickets and into the back of the net.
From there though, Avon Park locked in and kept the Bulldogs at bay.
DeSoto didn't even have a serious shot attempt over the next 15-plus minutes.
And when they did, at the 31:18 mark, Cuellar made a pair of remarkable plays.
On the initial shot, Cuellar dove and deflected it back in front of the goal and a little to her right, but left her in a prone position.
A quick second attempt saw the Devil keeper lunge and reach, while still on the ground, to smother it and keep it a 2-0 game at the half.
Cuellar made three more standout saves through the first 15 minutes of the second half, but the Bulldogs would soon break it open a bit with inside scores off of corner kicks.
"We really limited them with their running, but they got us on the corner kicks," Sboto said. "Another adjustment for us to make."
Avon Park would provide a few offensive thrills in the waning minutes with two breakaway opportunities.
On the first one, it was a mad dash that the sprinting Bulldog keeper hopped on just in the nick of time.
But moments later, the Devils were racing down again and saw senior Josianna Fils maintain control and beat the charging keeper to close out the scoring of the match and the season.
"It's been an interesting year and we're definitely on the right track," Sboto said. "The girls have worked so hard and it's shown in how much they have improved. They will have a lot more involvement in club play during the offseason and we'll be ready to go and looking forward to next year."
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