Lake Worth — The Boca Raton Girls’ Soccer were crowned district champions for the fourth year in a row by defeating bitter rivals Spanish River 2-0 in extra time on Wednesday night.
Second-seeded Spanish River took the first-seeded Boca side into overtime after a scoreless run in regulation.
The opening goal was scored by junior midfielder Sara Coelho from a free kick outside the 18-yard box. She pushed it right over the wall and into the bottom right corner with just two minutes left in her first extra time.
Senior captain Madison Billanti doubled the Bobcats’ lead in the second period.
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The win qualifies Boca (16-3) for the regional competition at home on Tuesday night.
New team, same routine
The Bobcats are known for having quality players.
There’s a reason they’re the #1 seed.
However, about half of the players this season are stepping onto the pitch for the first time representing their school. Head coach Rachel Grimes is happy with their efforts despite this fact:
“This is the first time many girls are on the field and I’m really proud of them and really excited that we won.”
At least 10 players are playing for their school team for the first time, but they’ve built their chemistry playing at club level.
Much of their success comes from the practice field where Coelho has practiced for a long time to get the perfect free kick.
“She’s been working hard in practice (free-kick), so it was huge for her to step up when we needed that goal,” Grimes said.
Coelho had scored this free-kick before, and it was against the Sharks in the regular season.
“It means a lot. I’ve been working hard all season and now all the hard work is paying off,” said Coelho.
“I feel like I want more pressure, especially when I’m playing against my rivals.
Senior captain Villanti is one of the team’s two seniors and the most experienced.
She has been with the Bobcats since her freshman year and helped them not only win the regional championship for the 2021-22 season, but also become district champion for the fourth year in a row.
She displayed leadership and determination on the pitch throughout her term, leading her young side to victory.
“It was a tough match,” said Bilanti. This is his fourth straight division win, which is a big deal for me and for us. I know all the girls have worked hard and I know there are a lot of young players who can help push the team forward. ”
In your own backyard, community ready
The district conference is over and preparations for the district conference have begun.
Boca’s victory last night puts automatic bidding into the quarter-finals along with other district winners Harmony (District 9) and Jupiter (District 10), with Wellington and Palm Beach Central determined on Thursday.
The Bobcats will play their local game at home, with the first game on Tuesday at 7:00 pm. There, you’ll play on well-manicured grass fields as well as home advantage.
“I’m really looking forward to having the regional competition home,” Grimes said. It’s great to be in.”
“I’m really looking forward to celebrating this[district final]and getting ready for the regionals next week, because I think the experience I’ve gained this week will be really valuable.”