Amer­i­can Her­itage tops Pem­broke Pines Char­ter

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - SPORTS - By Gary Cur­reri Cor­re­spon­dent

PEM­BROKE PINES — Miles Wal­ters came off the bench to score a goal and added an as­sist as vis­it­ing Amer­i­can Her­itage, the de­fend­ing state cham­pi­ons, de­feated Pem­broke Pines Char­ter, 3-0, in the Class 3A re­gional semi­fi­nal for a third straight sea­son.

“Ob­vi­ously this is a ri­valry game,” said Pa­tri­ots coach Todd Good­man, fol­low­ing the match that fea­tured five send offs. “We were very dis­ap­pointed in not get­ting the re­sult we wanted for the dis­trict cham­pi­onship, but ob­vi­ously this is the big­ger game. This is the game we tar­geted. It is just another hur­dle, another bump in the road on our way back to de­fend­ing our 3A state cham­pi­onship.”

Amer­i­can Her­itage (14-5-1) won the reg­u­lar-sea­son meet­ing, 1-0, and Pem­broke Pines Char­ter (18-5) won the dis­trict ti­tle game, 2-1. Un­til that loss, the Pa­tri­ots had been 8-0-1 against Pines Char­ter.

Amer­i­can Her­itage seized a 1-0 lead when Se­bas­tian Vi­darte found Mor­ris Se­nior with a cen­ter­ing pass about 40 yards from the goal. Se­nior drib­bled to his right and then found the left cor­ner as he wrong-footed Jaguars goal­keeper Alex Ben­itez in the 32nd minute.

Pem­broke Pines Char­ter missed a golden op­por­tu­nity to take the lead in the 14th minute when Lukas Lem­mers struck the cross­bar on a penalty-kick chance.

“That cost us the game right there in the be­gin­ning of the match,” said Pem­broke Pines Char­ter coach Alvin James, whose team saw its 10-game win streak snapped. “That brought our spir­its down. We had three or four op­por­tu­ni­ties to score and we just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. Then there were red cards and blue cards on both sides in the sec­ond half and that was the end of our sea­son.”

Each team had scor­ing chances af­ter that when Nick Ro­man had two right-footed blasts go wide from about 20 yards out in the 20th and 22nd min­utes, and Amer­i­can Her­itage’s Benji Grossi was wide on one shot and just over the cross­bar on another in the 24th and 26th min­utes.

Amer­i­can Her­itage made it, 2-0, in the 47th minute when Grossi found a streak­ing Wal­ters on the back post for the goal. Wal­ters found Ryan McGowan with a cross in the 55th minute for a 3-0 lead. Amer­i­can Her­itage, own­ers of six state ti­tles, has elim­i­nated Pem­broke Pines Char­ter three straight years in the re­gional semi­fi­nals.

Amer­i­can Her­itage, which won the state ti­tle, 1-0, over Seabreeze last year, will play the win­ner of the Mariner/Cape Co­ral game in the re­gional fi­nal Wed­nes­day.

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