Hawks blank Lake Minneola 4-0 in Class 4A regional girls soccer quarterfinals


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Viera High's Brooke Walsh (No. 10) had a goal and assist as the Hawks defeated Lake Minneola 4-0 Thursday night in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

A number of players turned in strong performances for the Viera High girls soccer team in Thursday night’s 4-0 win over Lake Minneola in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals.

Goalkeeper Sydney Lau had four saves and got the shutout with help from defenders Sarah Sanford and Shannon Gosule.

Sophomore J.J. Bryant had a goal and played well both offensively and defensively. Freshman Mya Norton, just pulled up from the JV team, had an assist and played well in extended action.

Morgan Pulliam and Julia Ramsey each had an assist as well.

Sarah Kelliher, Mollie Roe, Cori Fisher, Emily Bodi ... pretty much any player the Hawks had on the field Wednesday night had a good game as the Hawks (18-1-1) advanced to the regional semifinal Tuesday night at Edgewater (18-1-1), which defeated Melbourne 1-0 in a game that went to penalty kicks.

“I think we played really well,” Hawks coach Courtney Lundy said. “All week, we’ve been working on runs, overlaps, underlaps and getting that more into our game, being a little more creative off the ball. You definitely saw that a little bit tonight, and I think when you’re creative off the ball, you enjoy the game.

“We really did enjoy the game tonight, with the runs and the way we were playing.”

Jordan and Brooke Walsh certainly had fun Thursday night.

Brooke, a sophomore, scored the game’s first goal and assisted on the first of older sister Jordan’s two goals. It was the second straight game both Walsh sisters have both scored.

With Jordan graduating and going to play at UCF next season, these playoffs will be the last time the sisters get to play together.

“I’m going to get emotional,” Jordan said. “We’re together so much that … I don’t know what I’m going to do without her next year. We’re like each other’s other half. What her strengths are, are my weaknesses and my strengths are her weaknesses.

“It’s been a real privilege to be able to do that because there’s a lot of chemistry that we have … It’s just the best thing.”

While Lake Minneola was competitive, the visitors were never able to generate a consistent offensive threat against a Viera defense that has allowed just six goals this season.

Brooke Walsh’s goal came 25 minutes into the game to put the Hawks up 1-0 and then Jordan would score two goals in less than a minute – the first on a perfect cross from Brooke for a header into the net.

“They play well together,” Lundy said. “They definitely play like sisters. They know each other. They can play off of each other and they have fun together.”

Edgewater will represent quite a challenge for the Hawks in the next round, particularly since the game is on the road.

But right now, the team is showing every intention of defending the state championship it won last year. In other words, it’s a good time to be a Hawk.

Thursday night was evidence of that.

“I think we’re taking steps forward each time, focusing on the little things,” Jordan Walsh said. “We still have stuff to improve on, but I’m excited for where we’re going to go from here.”