Florida 1A Girls Championship Game Recap
In a battle of the past 2 Florida Champions on the girls side, Lake Highland Preparatory School (Orlando) and American Heritage Schools (Delray Beach) met to see who would take home the 2021 state title; this year being in the 1A class.
American Heritage Delray jumped out to the early lead and had Lake Highland Prep battling from behind much of the first half. Thanks in part to the goaltending of Highlander's freshman Gigi Adamson they found themselves only trailing 4-1 late in the first half when Olivia Adamson, who recently returned from injury, scored 3 consecutive goals in less than 4 minutes to even things up; but the Stallion's Casey Roberts would answer with 43 seconds left in the half to give Heritage a 1 goal lead at the break.
Lake Highland Prep would come out in the 2nd half and earn a 7-6 lead after a 3 goal run, but less then 2 minutes later American Heritage Delray would answer with a 4 goal run of their own highlighted by freshman Brooke Goldstein scoring clutch back to back goals during that ensuing run. The Highlanders would fight back to make it a 1 goal game again with 7 minutes left, but Payton Bezjak added an insurance goal a minute later and the Stallion's defense held on after that for an 11-9 victory and the 2nd state title for the American Heritage girls from Delray Beach since 2018.
American Heritage was led by senior Ainsley Huizenga who came up huge on the draw for the Stallions which impacted the game greatly. She was helped by junior midfielder Payton Wainman who picked up several ground balls off her draws and was a key in the Stallions offensive threat all day. Sophomore goaltender Brianna Valdivieso made several huge saves throughout the game to lead the defense against a very talented group from Orlando who defended their 2019 title valiantly.
This must be very satisfying to head coach John McClain and his staff after returning only 4 starters from last year's Covid shortened 2020 season. His youngsters stepped up to take the title from a team with more experience; controlling the ball as much as they did off the draw certainly seemed to assist them in "shortening" the game by keeping the Highlanders from getting chances on offense to catch up. Heritage ends 2021 at 15-1 after successfully avenging it's only loss this season, a closely contested 7-6 game in Orlando to these same Highlanders. The girls from Lake Highland Prep enjoyed a fabulous season at 19-1; riding a 19 game win streak into the final game is impressive no doubt. Your program is the epitome of what we strive to achieve all around the Deep South.
Deep South Lax Report's Top Performers:
Lake Highland Prep: Olivia Adamson, Ashley Thurston, Gigi Adamson, and Jacqueline Jaskiewicz
American Heritage Delray: Ainsley Huizenga, Payton Wainman, Brianna Valdivieso and Brooke Goldstein
Story written by Larry Palumbo, released on Thursday, May 20, 2021 @ 09:00 EST
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