The boys' District 3A-11 soccer championship will be decided in another classic Cape Coral-Mariner showdown Friday night at Island Coast.
Top-seeded Cape Coral took care of business on their end with a 4-0 victory over Cypress Lake in the semifinal round Thursday night. No. 3 seed Mariner followed suit with a 1-0 win over No. 2 South Fort Myers to set up the rematch for the championship. Kickoff Friday is 7 p.m. at Island Coast. The Seahawks won the crosstown rivals' earlier district meeting 1-0 on Dec. 4.
"Keeping it in the Cape," said Seahawks coach Aldo Nardiello. "Another classic Cape-Mariner final - Cards vs. Nards."
Island Coast junior Kaleb Darrett (5) goes for a slam dunk Thursday night in the Gators’ first-ever victory over Cape Coral. Darrett finishe with 14 points. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
The Seahawks (17-2-3) got goals from three different players en route to their semifinal win. Juan Cano scored twice while Gianni Cognata and Oscar Camacho each added one goal. Cano and Cognata also had assists along with Jonathan Jimenez.
Goalkeepers Alex Collazo finished with six saves and Austin Lachmann eight saves in the Seahawks' 11th shutout win of the season.
Mariner 1, South Fort Myers 0: Lucas Orellana broke a scoreless tie with a lazer corner kick shot that ricocheted off a South defender into the net for Mariner's game-winning goal with 13 minutes remaining Thursday night.
The District 3A-11 semifinal victory awarded the Tritons (15-5-5) a shot at the district title Friday night against crosstown rival Cape Coral at Island Coast.
"The kids on both sides seem to bring their best game when we play," said Tritons coach Martin Cardenas. "it's always exciting and challenging."
The Tritons forced about 10 good scoring chances without success before Orellana connected from the corner.
"That goal saved the night for us," said Cardenas. "Our defense played very well limiting (South) opportunities, and Alex (Trujillo) made three big saves toward the end."
Trujillo finished with six saves allowing the Tritons a bit of revenge against South, which eliminated the Tritons from district playoffs last year.
Island Coast 51, Cape Coral 42: Morgan Foreman led Island Coast to victory Thursday night with a game-high 16 points as the Gators defeated Cape Coral for the first time in school history.
The win also gives the Gators a 5-1 record against schools in the county's West Zone and the mythical Best of the West title, which Mariner has owned in recent years.
Kaleb Darrett pitched in with 14 points, five assists and four steals while Sonel Mathurin pulled down 10 rebounds and Jordan Lugo grabbed eight for the Gators.
Andrew Taylor topped the Seahawks with 14 points with Chase Galuzny adding 13.
"Cape runs a good slow tempo which is direct opposite to us," said Gators coach Greg Coleman. "We adjusted in the second quarter and picked up our defensive intensity in one of those grind it out types of games. It came down to who played the hardest."
The Seahawks (10-14) play at Fort Myers Friday while the Gators (12-10) host LaBelle on Monday.
Island Coast 7 10 15 19 - 51
Cape Coral 17 2 14 9 - 42
Island Coast 51 - Inchausti 8, Lugo 4, K. Darrett 14, Foreman 16, Rubicco 5, Mathurin 4. Totals: 16 16-28 51.
3PG: Lugo 1, K. Darrett 1, Foreman 1.
Cape 41 - Boyd 7, Galuzny 13, Flynn 4, Mesaros 4, Taylor 14. Totals: 16 5-7 42.
3PG: Boyd 1, Galuzny 1, Taylor 3.