LAKELAND – Goalkeeper Jonathan Martinez wasn’t just brilliant all night, he was superb in the overtime penalty kick phase and stopped two of four shots, allowing George Jenkins to make it four in a row and defeat Ridge Community in the semifinal game of the Class 5A, District 9 soccer playoffs.
The Eagles’ Ferry Petit-Homme led off the penalty kicks with a stop-and-shoot action that had Ridge keeper Luis Morales on his toes from the outset.
Kevin Alcala Coyt drilled the next one for the Bolts, followed by Jordan Heckler and Jarhed Marinez exchanging goals.
Martinez then stopped the next two by Steven Ontiveros and Angel Arteaga and the team and crowd erupted. Jack Aranda and Brandon Wicorek made their shots for the win.
“I was surprised by everything we did tonight,” said Eagles head coach Tanner Mosher. “Jonathan was outstanding in the nets.
“This is the most chances we’ve had in a game all season,” he added.
The Eagles were just superior all night. Their ball control and pressure in the 15-yard box was unstoppable. Defensively, the marking was unbearable for the Bolts’ offense and yet, despite the physical play, only a half dozen yellow cards were issued. Most of them in the first half.
A number of players on both sides went down to injury time, but bounced back in the game as both teams were at full strength most of the 80 minutes.
“I thought both goalies did a fantastic job,” said Ridge 13-year coach Michael Blethen.
George Jenkins will play the winner of the Celebration-Gateway gamefor the district title on Friday night.