Late goal lifts Lake Minneola past Viera in regional quarterfinals


Viera High senior Andrew Scougall, shown here during the district final game, was one of eight seniors who played their final game for the Hawks Wednesday night. The Hawks lost their Class 4A regional quarterfinal 1-0 at Lake Minneola.


The Viera High boys soccer team was hoping to earn another shot at the Melbourne Bulldogs in the Class 4A playoffs.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, they couldn’t get past Lake Minneola Wednesday night, losing 1-0 on a goal in the final eight minutes of their regional quarterfinal.

Viera finished the year with a 12-5-4 record.

 “We were knocking on the door all game long, but unfortunately we just failed to make the breakthrough I strongly believe we deserved,” Viera coach Nick Robinson wrote in an email. “We had a lot of good chances to go 1-0 up and a couple of great opportunities to equalize after Lake Minneola scored with eight minutes remaining.

“It just wasn’t our day in front of goal and we paid the price for not being clinical. Lake Minneola showed resilience and they made some big defensive plays. I thought our back five (Robbie Murtha, Tibor​ ​Susanj​, Kyle Hupfer, Stephen McHale, James Leonard) were brilliant tonight in the run of play. However, unfortunately we had one lapse in concentration from a long throw and that happened to separate the game.”

It was the final game for Viera seniors Max Pacheaco; Tyler McGoldrick; Andrew Scougall; Braedon Clark; Michael Howell; John Dashi; Andrew Madlener and Corbin Lindsey.

With such a young core of players like Leonard; Adam Choss; Robbie Murtha; Jordan​ ​Sichler; Mads Jensen; Kia​ ​Mohajeri; Hupfer; Christian​ ​Becerra; Patrick Murtha; Susanj​; Nathan​ ​Brooker; Mathew​ ​Kowlessar​; McHale and Zachary Nielsen the Hawks feel like they have a bright future.

“There are a lot of positives to take from this season and that’s exactly what the focus will be moving forward,” Robinson wrote. “The biggest positive is bringing back our entire back five, and another four or five guys that started the majority of the season.

“Hopefully, the experience from this season for a very young team of finally appearing in a district championship final and regionals will be the incentive to push on and make that next step for the 2018-2019 season, which I am already very much looking forward to.”