Advertisement

Orangewood Christian drops FHSAA boys soccer state final

AUBURNDALE — Orangewood Christian’s youthful boys soccer team ended its season the same way it started.

The Rams (16-4-1) were shut out for just the second time in 2023-24 on Friday afternoon during a 3-0 loss vs. Tampa Carrollwood Day (18-2-1) in the FHSAA Class 2A state championship game at Lake Myrtle Sports Park.

Orangewood opened with a 1-0 loss at Lakeland Christian (16-4-2) before going on to outscore opponents by a 69-22 margin.

“This was a surprise. I didn’t think we were going to go this far at the start of the season,” Orangewood coach Nick Bond said. “I’m really proud of them for getting to this point. They put in a lot of work. It wasn’t ideal that we lost today, but they can hold their heads high.”

Orangewood fielded a roster that included 13 freshmen and sophomores among its 16 players.

The turning point for the Rams came on the brink of the district tournament when they drew a 1-1 tie at Apopka (6-9-3).

“After battling like that against a team that had 15 seniors, I thought we might have a good shot at making a run in these playoffs,” Bond said.

Carrollwood claimed its first state title in windy conditions while outshooting the Rams 14-8 and getting goals by Jacob Zager, Juan Garanton and Greg Tilzer.

It’s Orangewood’s fifth loss vs. the Patriots since the 2019-20 season.

There was a 15-minute delay early in the first half after referee Joe Kirchon of the Central Florida Ridge Officials Association fell to the turf and was attended to by trainers at the 31:22 mark.

Kirchon was able to walk off the field with some assistance.

Orangewood was playing in its third state-championship game. The Rams won the 1A title in 2015 and finished runners-up in ‘16.

This article originally appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email J.C. Carnahan at jcarnahan@orlandosentinel.com.