For the first 60 or so minutes, neither Monarch nor Palm Harbor University looked ready
The two teams combined for just one shot on goal … a harmless long effort by Monarch …
and didn't come close to sniffing a goal.
Then the lights went down, and Palm Harbor woke up.
With just over 13 minutes left in regulation, the Pinellas County representatives
tallied the deciding goal to send Monarch back to Broward County.
The Hurricanes added a late penalty kick to bounce the Knights 2-0 at University of
Tampa's Pepin Stadium Friday night.
Minutes before the first goal, the stadium lights cut out, leaving the two sides
scuffling in the twilight.
Ben Sweat could see just fine. The Hurricanes midfielder collected a pass from P.J.
McDonald at the top of the box, twisted to his right and fired the shot off his left foot
past Monarch goalie Diego Cardoso.
Six minutes later, Palm Harbor University put it away.
The Hurricanes were attacking inside the box, and Cardoso took down Andrew Smith while
the ball was free.
Matthew Tobin then beat Cardoso on a well-placed penalty kick. Using his left foot, he
slid it inside the right post.
The teams spent the first part of the game battling for the midfield. Neither Monarch
(18-6-2) nor Palm Harbor (23-4-4) put a shot on goal in the first half.
However, Palm Harbor had the better of play. Forward Matthew Tobin broke free in the
sixth minute, had look at the goal, but sent the ball just left.
The second half wasn't much better, with the initial shot goal not coming until the
55th minute of play. Felipe Nascimento drove a free kick on net, but it went right to the
Palm Harbor keeper Max Gallin.
Then in the 67th minute, Palm Harbor nailed the decider.