After working all season, the varsity boys soccer team took the field for the state semifinals at home, Feb. 18. As the #1 seed in the Class 5A State Championship, the varsity boys played the #4 seed – Booker T. Washington from Pensacola – and walked away with a 2-1 victory. This win increased the boys’ record to 18-1-2 and punched the team a ticket to the State Championship.
Booker T. Washington is a competitive team, so earning this victory was not easy. They had wins over tough opponents under their belt, including a 3-0 victory over Fort Walton Beach in the state quarterfinals. However, it wasn’t enough for them to beat Heritage.
Heritage dominated the ball for the majority of the first half, and key saves from senior goalie Hernando Ardila came in clutch multiple times. In the first half, senior Nicolas Weyenberg scored the first goal of the game off a cross from sophomore Adam Leon.
As the second half began, neither team held consistent possession. Both teams had solid shots and plays, but none reached the back of the net until Heritage earned a free kick. Senior Andres Morral Rosales got fouled, and senior Rodrigo Kesierman Blumenthal scored the penalty kick.
“[In this game], we wanted to make sure that we kept the formula, our system that we’ve been relying on all year long. We stay organized and communicated defensively, we create opportunities out of our midfield and we’re opportunistic in our attack. When we put all three of those together, we get rewarded with a win like tonight,” said head coach Todd Goodman.
Booker T. responded with one sole goal to make the score 2-1.
The boys are set to play Naples High School in the State Championship at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand, Feb. 25.
“We won back-to-back State Championships in 2018 and 2019. It’s been a long three years, but we are ready to put our best foot forward and put another banner on the side of our building,” Coach Goodman said.
All photos taken by Zoe Horwitz.