ORANGE PARK – Ridgeview High junior goalkeeper Adam Mineo earned his salary Friday night with three successful stops of shots by Matanzas as the Panthers won the district 4-3A title in a 3-1 …
ORANGE PARK – Ridgeview High junior goalkeeper Adam Mineo earned his salary Friday night with three successful stops of shots by Matanzas as the Panthers won the district 4-3A title in a 3-1 shootout at Ridgeview High School. The title was a first for Panther coach Paul Tomaro as Ridgeview returns to the region playoffs after a five year hiatus. Matanzas fell to 13-7 overall after beating defending 3A champion Ponte Vedra in a shootout two nights prior. Ridgeview beat Menendez 6-1 off two goals from Miguel Ortiz.
“It was a tough, rough game obviously with a 0-0 score at the end of regulation time,” said Tomaro, who guided the Panthers through an 11-1-2 record with a lone loss to 4A-Oakleaf, the district 4-4A champions. “Adam only had three or four shots on him during the entire game. He had to come through in the shootout and he did.”
With both teams sharing 10 shots on goal for the night with neither
amassing any type of legit scoring threat during regular time and during a “Golden Goal” overtime period before the shootout, Tomaro liked his chances with his strong front players.
“They had one guy, Nathan Hubbs, I think, that was clearing a lot of shots and preventing us from getting close,” said Tomaro. “Our game is to control the ball and be patient.”
In the shootout, Ortiz, Andy Prestridge and Dante DeSantis all landed shots past Matanzas’ goalie Brandt Herron. Charlie Barrett missed the fourth shot, but Mineo’s efforts made the miss irrelevant.
Ridgeview will host the region 1-3A quarterfinal on Wed., Feb. 7 against Wolfson (11-8-1). Matanzas will travel to Paxon, the district 3-3A champion, for their region opener.
In district 3-4A, Ridgeview, under Tomaro, had two region playoff berths; 2012, 2013, but lost in their opening game. Ridgeview twice finished as runnerup to Fleming Island in district 3-4A in 2012 and 2013.
From 2006-2009, under coach Frank Cascia, the Panthers advanced to the region semifinals in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, Ridgeview finished as district 3-4A champion over Clay, beat Bishop Kenny in the region quarterfinal 3-0, but lost 3-0 to Stanton in the region semifinal.