By Kyle LoJacono
Steinbrenner senior forward Alexis Bredeau scored in the 26th minute of a 10-0 victory at Leto Dec. 19.
The tally was Bredeau’s third of the night and her 23rd of the season, but it was the fact that it is the 78th goal of her career that had the most meaning.
It matches the fourth-year program’s all-time record, matching the number put up by 2012 graduate and University of Tampa forward Cici Gonzalez.
“I respect Cici so much,” Bredeau said. “She was my idol when I was a freshman. I played at Martinez (Middle) for half a year, and she used to come back and practice with us. Seeing her and playing with her, I just idolized her and want to be the player that she is because she has such hard-working methods and is so inspirational on and off the field. To be up there with her is a great feeling.”
Bredeau and Gonzalez played together with the Warriors (9-4) for three seasons, which included winning a state championship in 2011.
“She should definitely have her name in the record books because she’s one of the best players who has played at Steinbrenner,” Gonzalez said. She added, “It was always good playing with her, especially the year we won states. We really connected. We called ourselves the Terrific Two. … Everything we achieved every year we couldn’t have done without her.”
Gonzalez scored her 78 goals during just three seasons with the Warriors. She also had 19 tallies while at Sickles as a freshman before moving to Steinbrenner when the school opened in 2009. She still has the record for goals in a season (33), but Bredeau claimed the mark for tallies in a game when she put up six in this year’s opener against Clearwater Central Catholic (CCC).
The record-matching tally was assists by sophomore Jessica Taylor, who said she had no idea what the goal meant until after the game.
“Me and Alexis just work really well together, and we play off each other well,” Taylor said. “It’s just instinct with her when she’s open. It’s cool to get that assist.”
Bredeau scored the game’s second tally off a cross from freshman Danielle Darius in the eighth minute. She followed with a corner kick she took in the 16th minute that snuck over Leto’s goalkeeper.
First-year Steinbrenner coach Angela Gillisse pointed out that Bredeau, who has a team-high 13 assists, has gotten her goals this season while incorporating everyone.
“The thing about her is she’s not selfish,” Gillisse said. “She could have had three goals in the first 15 minutes, but she looked for the right pass and didn’t just shoot whenever she had the ball. … Alexis doesn’t just shoot to shoot. If she has the best opportunity she takes it, but if not she recognizes that and keeps the ball moving.”
Bredeau, who has committed to the University of North Florida, started playing at age 4 with an indoor soccer league near Chamberlain High. She moved into competitive soccer four years later when she joined Hillsborough County United.
Bredeau didn’t become a forward until rather late in her career. She started out as a goalkeeper, moved to defender and then attacking midfielder, before finding her home up top around age 13.
She had 23 goals as a freshman and 24 as a sophomore, but the production slipped to eight last year. Bredeau also hit a dry spell after starting the season with that six-tally outburst against CCC, scoring only three times in the next seven games.
Things changed starting against Robinson Nov. 30 when Bredeau recorded two tallies. She has scored 14 times in the last six games, 2.3 per contest.
“I think what’s really pushed me is getting ready for college,” Bredeau said. “It’s pushed that college mentality in me. It’s clicking for me, and I know I need to do this much to be where I want to be.”
Gillisse also provided her with some additional motivation to set the record against Leto.
“Coach actually sent me a chocolate bar this morning with a note that said I needed three goals for the school record,” Bredeau said. “After that I was definitely ready.”
Steinbrenner hosted Alonso Dec. 21, but results were not available by press time. The Warriors host Wharton Jan. 9 at 6 p.m.
—Follow Kyle LoJacono on Twitter: @Kyle_Laker
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