Posted: 5:32 pm Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Girls soccer: Palm Beach Central, Benjamin set for state semifinals 

By Matt Porter

Two Palm Beach County girls soccer teams still have a shot at the state finals in Melbourne. Here’s a quick look at Friday’s Class 5A and 2A state semifinals involving Palm Beach Central and Benjamin, respectively:

The backbone of Palm Beach Central's strong defense is keeper Hayley Brunner. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

The backbone of Palm Beach Central's strong defense is keeper Hayley Brunner. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

Class 5A state semifinal
Palm Beach Central (21-1) at Miami-Lourdes (19-2)

7 p.m. Friday at Christopher Columbus High, Miami

Breakdown: This is the first state appearance for Central. In its first regional final appearance on Tuesday, the Broncos outlasted the most decorated program in state history, coming from behind to beat two-time defending 5A champion Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas in penalty kicks. Central star Yulie Lopez, who sprained her ankle on Tuesday, is doubtful. Standout Broncos freshman Aubrey Megrath, who missed Tuesday’s game to attend U.S. Olympic Development Program camp in Arizona, is out.

Lourdes, which lost to Weston-Cypress Bay in last year’s regional final, turned the tables with a 2-0 win on Tuesday. The speedy Bobcats feature senior forward Bailey Plummer (32 goals) and keeper Jenny Herold, who according to the Miami Herald has 19 shutouts, or one for every win.

Next round: 5A state final vs. Oviedo/Tarpon Springs-East Lake winner, 4:05 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at Melbourne High.

Sophomore Katie O'Hare (left) is one of several skilled players carrying Benjamin through the postseason. (Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)

Sophomore Katie O'Hare (left) is one of several skilled players carrying Benjamin through the postseason. (Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post)

Class 2A state semifinal
Benjamin (21-0-1) at Miami-Gulliver Prep (20-0-4)

3:30 p.m. Friday

Breakdown: High-scoring Benjamin has yet to lose this season and has not been scored on since the district semifinals, rolling through districts and regionals by a combined 18-1 score. The Buccaneers, who have outscored opponents 125-18 this season, beat St. Pete Catholic 1-0 in Tuesday’s regional final on a goal by freshman Kylie Borislow. The Bucs have never reached the state semifinals. Last week was their first regional championship in two tries, the last being 2011.

Gulliver Prep, which lost to three-time reigning state champ American Heritage in last year’s regional final, got its revenge over the Stallions with a 4-2 win on Tuesday.

Next round: 2A state final vs. Ocala-Trinity Catholic/Pensacola Catholic winner, 8:05 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8 at Melbourne High.