Montverde out of ti­tle con­tention

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY - By J.C. Car­na­han jcar­na­[email protected]­lan­dosen­tinel.com

Montverde Academy will not de­fend its Florida High School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion girls soc­cer state cham­pi­onship this sea­son.

Af­ter reach­ing the Class 2A ti­tle game in 2017 and win­ning backto-back 4A state ti­tles the past two years, Montverde’s pro­gram is in search of new goals while mov­ing for­ward as an in­de­pen­dent.

“I think it was more of an ad­min­is­tra­tion de­ci­sion,” Montverde coach Rob­bie Aris­todemo said. “But now we’re looking for the next chal­lenge. My goal has al­ways been to try to keep high school soc­cer rel­e­vant be­cause there’s just noth­ing like it com­pared to the club game.”

The Ea­gles (4-0-0) fol­low the path of other elite pro­grams at the school, in­clud­ing boys bas­ket­ball, boys soc­cer and baseball, that com­pete as mem­bers of the Florida High School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion but do not par­tic­i­pate in FHSAA state play­offs.

Montverde will host some of the top high school teams in the state Fri­day and Satur­day dur­ing its sev­enth an­nual Women’s In­vi­ta­tional Show­case Tour­na­ment. The 14-team event in­cludes de­fend­ing 2A cham­pion Jack­sonville Bolles and 1A champ St. Johns Coun­try Day of Or­ange Park.

The Ea­gles en­tered Tues­day’s game against Auburn­dale (1-2-1) rid­ing a 37-match win streak since los­ing 4-1 at St. Johns Coun­try Day on Dec. 15, 2017. That in­cludes a cur­rent run of 17 con­sec­u­tive shutouts.

The Ea­gles, ranked No. 1 in the state by TopDraw­erSoc­cer.com, face No. 13 Bolles (4-2-0) on Fri­day at 8 p.m. and No. 3 St. Johns Bar­tram Trail (5-0-0) on Satur­day at 5 p.m.

“The idea is to have 20 to 30 col­lege coaches come out to watch the girls and give them op­por­tu­ni­ties to get ex­posed,” said Aris­todemo, who needs just four wins to reach 150 for his ca­reer. “And for us, we’re al­ways looking to try to play the bet­ter teams in the state to help push our younger play­ers to get bet­ter.”

Aris­todemo en­tered his ninth year with the Ea­gles sport­ing a 142-19-4 record. Montverde com­peted as an in­de­pen­dent dur­ing its first five sea­sons be­fore join­ing FHSAA play in 2016-17.

Jody Brown is one of five se­niors and six re­turn­ing starters on a team that went 23-0-0 last sea­son. Brown, a Florida State com­mit who played for the Ja­maican women’s na­tional team in the 2019 FIFA World Cup, was named Or­lando Sentinel player of the year in 2018-19. Se­nior de­fender Vi­vianne Bes­sette and ju­nior mid­fielder Maria Tre­gansin were also named to the all-area first team.

State ranked: Semi­nole County ri­vals Lake Mary (3-0-1) and Oviedo (2-0-3) played to a 1-1 draw on Nov. 20. They join Montverde in the Top Drawer state rank­ings this week at No. 10 and No. 11, re­spec­tively.

The Rams re­turn eight starters to a team that lost on penalty kicks at Palm Har­bor Univer­sity in a 5A state semi­fi­nal, in­clud­ing se­niors Krystal Tor­res, Tess Foels, Izzy Kadzban and Lind­sey Vilece.

Lake Mary en­tered a Tues­day vs. Lake Brant­ley (2-0-2) with an 11-3 ad­van­tage in goals scored for the sea­son. The Rams opened with wins over Hagerty (1-3-1), Semi­nole (2-2-1) and Ly­man (1-3-2). Lake Mary is home vs. Tim­ber Creek (3-1-0) on Thurs­day at 7 p.m.

Oviedo opened the sea­son with a 2-2 tie vs. Lake Brant­ley be­fore win­ning big over Win­ter Springs and Hagerty. The Li­ons played to a 0-0 tie Mon­day against Lake Nona (4-0-1).

Just five starters re­turn to a Li­ons’ team that lost to Lake Mary in the district cham­pi­onship game and re­gion semi­fi­nals. Jade Bar­kett is leav­ing school early to en­roll at UCF in Jan­uary. Se­niors Kait­lyn Ar­mour and Sierra Brown are joined by ju­niors Raisa Lugo and Kyleigh The­len as the other re­turn­ing starters.

Notes and num­bers: Cel­e­bra­tion coach Ed Kuzma won the 200th game of his ca­reer on Nov. 14 when the Storm pre­vailed 8-0 over Lake­land Tenoroc. Kuzma, who will move on and ded­i­cate his time to coach­ing baseball af­ter this sea­son, en­tered his fi­nal year with a 199-145-36 record as a boys and girls soc­cer coach at Cel­e­bra­tion.

Sopho­more Paola DiDa­maso has as­sisted on seven goals for the Storm (4-0-1), who re­turned 10 play­ers that saw sig­nif­i­cant play­ing time for a team that went 6-9-2 a year ago. Se­nior cen­ter­back Bella Fos­ter is the lone fouryear let­ter win­ner on ros­ter.

Edge­wa­ter se­nior Kai­ley Scott has al­ready ac­counted for 16 goals in five matches this sea­son. That in­cludes four goals each in wins over Ocoee (3-4-0) and Lake How­ell (1-2-1). The Ea­gles (4-0-1) were sched­uled to play at Bishop Moore (4-2-0) on Tues­day.

Edge­wa­ter, led by first-year coach Chris Vlam­ing and eight re­turn­ing var­sity play­ers, hosts Class 2A state semi­fi­nal­ist Trin­ity Prep (1-2-0) on Fri­day at 7:30 p.m.

Wekiva ju­nior mid­fielder Areli Pa­tri­cio has scored 13 goals for the Mus­tangs (5-2-0).

East River sopho­more Je­nessa Gray has netted 10 goals for the Fal­cons (4-1-1).

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