Caceres’ seven tournament goals not enough for the Wildcats
By Kyle LoJacono
Hudson High took down a pair of giants in the Class 4A-District 7 tournament, taking down No. 2 seed Wesley Chapel High in the semifinals and No. 1 Pasco High in the finals.
The Cobras won the district championship in shutout fashion against the Pirates 2-0 Jan. 28.
Pasco (20-2) had been hoping for a rematch with the Wildcats (17-6) in the district finals after being upset in last year’s semifinals by Wesley Chapel. This time it was Wildcats who were upset in the semis in a 2-1 loss to Hudson. The Cobras got a goal in the 80th minute by Scott Ewing to seal the win.
Wesley Chapel’s lone goal in the semis was headed in by senior center midfielder Max Caceres off a corner kick by freshman Nestor Ponce. Caceres set a program record with six goals in a game in the Wildcats’ 8-1 win in the quarterfinals against Gulf High Jan. 24. He scored three goals in the first half and matched that in the second, including the last score of the game.
“It was actually really special,” said Caceres, who is a team captain. “I’ve practiced with the team since I was in eighth grade at Weightman (Middle). My brother (Max) played here too. It’s really great to know no one else has done it.”
Caceres moved to Tampa from Honduras when he was in second grade. He moved to Wesley Chapel while in middle school.
Brian Dorkowski has been Wesley Chapel’s coach the last nine years and was not surprised Caceres put up six goals.
“He’s a strong player,” Dorkowski said. “He can play very defensive or offensive depending on the game. We mentioned it briefly at halftime that it could happen because he scored four in a game last year. The last one went in with almost no time left and it was a great ending.”
The Wildcats lost four starters before the district tournament for various reasons and Dorkowski said they needed scoring from Caceres to do well in the event. He put up seven goals in the event, but it was not enough to get past districts.
Last year, the Wildcats went 10-14-1, but advanced to the regional tournament as the 4A-7 runner-up. This season, the squad had more wins, but will not return to regionals.
As for Pasco, the Dade City team dropped only one game in the regular season, a 3-2 loss to Sunshine Athletic Conference champion Land O’ Lakes High. The Pirates won their opener in the district tournament, a 7-0 victory against Anclote. Junior Dillon Dunbar and senior Jose Flores each had two goals in the opener, while Luis Salas, Orlando Alcocer and Carlos Riojas added one apiece.
Pasco then defeated Fivay High in the semifinals, winning the contest 4-1. Dunbar and Flores added two more goals apiece in contest.
The Pirates now get another shot at the Gators, as the county rivals will play in the regional quarterfinals at Land O’ Lakes on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.