The Lady Raiders defeated Gulf Breeze 6 – 1 at home on Dec. 18. It was the largest margin of victory the Raiders have ever registered against their neighboring rival. The first few minutes were played at midfield with neither team having an edge.
In the 5th minute the Dolphins caught a break. Raider keeper, Julianna DeSalle made a diving stop of a shot from the left side. As the Dolphins charged in to get to the loose ball, Defender Mariah McKinley slid in to knock the rebound away. The ball bounced off a Dolphin and was headed toward the goal when Brenda Bishop slid in to clear the ball away. The defensive trio’s spectacular saves allowed the Raiders to dodge a bullet.
A minute later, the Raiders had their first scoring opportunity. Tori Martino moved down the right side of the field before looping a pass over the middle to Emily Madril. From about 25 yards away, Madril hit a hard shot that the Dolphin keeper could barely get her hand on the ball to slow it down. The Dolphin keeper could only watch as the ball rolled slowly into the goal behind her, giving the Raiders a 1 – 0 lead.
In the 11th minute, Gulf Breeze attacked the Raider defense again. DeSalle made a nice leaping save. However, when she came down with the ball, she was hit and the ball came loose. The Dolphins shot from 6 feet and tied the score at 1 – 1.
The score remained tied until the 35th minute. Madril moved down the left side of the pitch and at the last second, crossed a pass to Martino waiting near the far-right post. Martino did not miss and fired a shot into the net to give the Raiders a 2 – 1 lead.
Read the full story in the Dec. 24 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.