- January 28, 2016
The Windermere High girls soccer program punched a ticket to the postseason in its inaugural season during last week's District 4A-5 Tournament at East Ridge High.
The Wolverines, who entered the five-team tournament as the No. 2 seed behind nationally-ranked Montverde Academy, defeated No. 3 Lake Minneola 2-1 January in the district semifinals.
That victory secured a berth in the FHSAA Class 4A Regional Playoffs for Windermere (13-4-1),
The senior-less Wolverines got goals from Bryce Brozovich — who also had an assist — and Victoria Gonzalez in the big win for the upstart program.
"It’s huge," Windermere head coach Trent Frederick said. "Just for a first-year program to be in the district final is a phenomenal story. The girls worked hard all year."
Two days later, Windermere fell 3-0 to Montverde — MaxPreps' top-ranked team in the state and ninth-ranked team in the nation. After the Wolverines were defeated 8-0 by the Eagles Dec. 5, they rose to the occasion in the district final and battled through a scoreless first half before eventually succumbing.
"We definitely just tried to cut off their passing lanes and win as many 50-50 balls as we could," Frederick said. "We’ve had a 13-4-1 season (so far) — we’re not hanging our heads after this loss, that’s for sure."
Windermere will now prepare for its first-ever playoff game against the Melbourne Bulldogs (12-2-1), the district champions from District 4A-6. The regional quarterfinal matchup is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 6, in Melbourne.
Frederick and his young team will look to capitalize on the week-and-one-half layoff with the hopes of advancing and perhaps earning another shot at Montverde, which they would likely face in the regional semifinals.
"We’re definitely going to continue to try and work on our possession and our speed of play," Frederick said. "Our finishing — we’re going to have to put some goals in the back of the net. We’re going to have to come and play and we’re going to have to finish the ball."
Whatever may come, though, the veteran coach was quick to praise how far his first-year program has come already.
"I think we’re ahead of the game," Frederick said. "The girls’ work ethic has taken them way past where I thought we’d be."