The Foundation Academy girls soccer team, the Horizon High boys soccer team, the West Orange High boys soccer team and the Windermere High boys soccer team all became district champions and advanced to regional play this week.
Despite some loses, other prep soccer teams in the area also advanced to the regional brackets and are still in the pursuit of a regional — and possibly state — championship title.
FOUNDATION ACADEMY BOYS
Despite their 2-1 loss against Faith Christian Tuesday, Jan. 31, the Foundation Academy boys soccer team is still part of the group of teams battling for a Class 2A, District 6, Region 2 championship.
The Lions fell 4-0 against Circle Christian (10-5-1) Wednesday, Feb. 8, during the regional quarterfinal game.
The Foundation girls varsity soccer team (12-4) became the Class 2A, District 6 champion after defeating Orangewood Christian 3-1 during the district championship game Thursday, Feb. 2, at Orangewood Christian.
“(I’m) proud of our girls and all they have done and are yet to do,” head soccer coach James Grosshans said. “The win was really just affirmation on how hard the ladies have been working and how talented our ladies are. The win really came down to (them) digging in and fighting until the final whistle.”
With this win, the Lady Lions brought home the second district championship title in its history.
“It shows how much the program has improved from where it was when my seniors and myself began (that first year we were 5-9 where this year we are … 12-4),” Grosshans said. “This season, I have just been blessed to continue to work with ... a sharp group of women who enjoy being around each other.”
The girls defeated Orangewood Christian 3-1 during the regional quarterfinal Tuesday, Feb. 7, advancing to the regional semifinal. The Lady Lions are set to travel to Faith Christian at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, for the regionals semifinals.
The Horizon boys soccer team became the first soccer squad in school history to earn the FHSAA Class 5A, District 6 championship title.
“The district championship means a lot to the team,” head soccer coach Brad Duerksen said. “In our pre-season, we set several goals for our program. One of our goals was to win the district championship after coming so close last season. We also set a goal of going undefeated on our home field. We have been able to accomplish both of those goals this season.”
The Hawks defeated Gateway High School 2-1 during the championship game Wednesday, Feb. 1.
“The boys have put in a lot of hard work from last season to this season,” Duerksen said. “We are only a second-year program, but the boys bought into our philosophy from Day 1.”
The team took a 2-0 win over Matanzas High School (8-5-2) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, to advance to the regional semifinal, where they are schedule to host Seabreeze at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11.
Despite losing to Auburndale 2-1 Wednesday, Feb. 1, during the Class 5A, District 6 championship game, the Horizon girls soccer team remains standing in the battle for the state championship title.
The Lady Hawks defeated Mainland High School 4-0 during one of Region 2 quarterfinal games Tuesday, Feb. 7, and advanced to the regionals semifinal. The girls will travel to Seabreeze at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.
"Advancing to regionals for the second year in a row highlights the hard work, commitment and drive the varsity roster has continuously shown this season," head soccer coach Tom Brown said. "It's not by luck and is proof we as a program are striving forward."
LEGACY CHARTER BOYS
Despite falling 3-2 to Faith Christian during the Class 2A, District 6 championship game Thursday, Feb. 2, the Legacy Charter boys soccer team has moved on to the regional bracket and continues its pursuit for a state championship title. The Eagles defeated St. Edward’s 2-1 Wednesday, Feb. 8, during one of Region 2 quarterfinal games.
The boys are now set to travel to Lakeland Christian at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, for the regionals semifinal.
THE FIRST ACADEMY GIRLS
The First Academy girls soccer team battled Montverde Academy for the Class 3A, District 5 championship title Wednesday, Feb. 1, but fell short on its quest for the district championship title 5-0.
Despite their loss, the Lady Royals advanced to the regional bracket and are part of a number of teams still battling for a regional and state championship title.
The girls fell to Berkeley Prep 3-2 Tuesday, Feb.7, during one of Region 2 quarterfinal games to end their season.
WEST ORANGE BOYS
The West Orange boys soccer team became the Class 7A, District 3 champion after defeating East Ridge Wednesday, Feb. 1, during overtime.
Neither the Warriors nor the Knights were able to reach their opponents’ nets during regular arbitration, and it wasn’t until the first half of overtime that West Orange was able to score a goal to secure the championship.
The Warriors fell to Winter Park 4-2 Tuesday, Feb. 7, during one of the Region 1 quarterfinal games.
Windermere became the Class 7A, District 5 champion after defeating Cypress Creek 4-1 Wednesday, Feb. 2, during the district championship.
“I think what it means is the hard work that the kids have put in, that means that they do have to listen and have to work as a complete unit, which means the coach, the players, the parents, and we’ve had that kind of cooperation all year,” head soccer coach Alvin Alexander said.
“This group of players (is) unlike I’ve ever played with before,” defensive midfielder Elias Baltajy said.
“We are a family and often on the pitch, and our hard work paid off,” right winger Gabriel Simoes said. “Me and all my other teammates always get to practice on time, respect the coach and take practice seriously, and that helps us in games.”
The Wolverines defeated Palm Harbor 6-0 Wednesday, Feb. 8, during one of the Region 2 regional quarterfinal games. The boys are now bound for regional semifinal play as they will travel to Newsome at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, for the regionals semifinal.
WINDERMERE PREP BOYS
The Windermere Prep boys varsity soccer team (12-4-1) ended its quest for the Class 3A, District 5 after tying to Lake Highland Prep 1-1 but falling short during a penalty shoot-out 3-0 Thursday, Feb. 2, at the district championship game.
The Lakers, however, made it to the regional bracket and are still in the battle for the state championship title. The team fell to Bishop Verot 1-0 Wednesday, Feb. 8, during one of the Region 2 quarterfinal games.