ORANGE PARK – For the fourth time in four tries, the St. Johns Country Day School boys soccer team used Dru Detlefsen’s foot and Max Monroe’s forehead to push ahead to the region 1-1A …
ORANGE PARK – For the fourth time in four tries, the St. Johns Country Day School boys soccer team used Dru Detlefsen’s foot and Max Monroe’s forehead to push ahead to the region 1-1A championships with a 1-0 win over top-ranked Tallahassee Maclay on Saturday night on the St. Johns campus. Detlefsen and Monroe hit for three goals in the Spartans’ 3-1 district championship win two weeks ago.
St. Johns got the region semifinal with a 1-0 win Wednesday over St. Johns Paul II off a lone goal from Matthew Stratton (See Mike Zima’s story on page ??).
St. Johns (13-2-1) joins the Spartans’ girls team, a 4-0 winner also over Tallahassee Maclay on Friday (See Ray DiMonda’s story on page ??), into the region championship double. The girls (18-2), led by senior Kamy Loustau’s two goals on Friday, head to Master’s Academy (12-5) in Orlando on Tues., Feb. 12 while the boys travel also to Orlando to Orangewood Christian (15-3) on Wed., Feb. 13.
Going into Saturday nights region 1-1A semifinal soccer match with Maclay, Spartan coach Brad Schmidt, knew they needed to change their formation.
“We played a 4-5-1 all season, but today we switched to a 3-5-2, and we went on the attack,” said St. John’s Country Day coach Jimmy Merritt. “If we played back, Maclay would have picked us apart.”
The game plan worked to perfection.
Sophomore Max Monroe scored on a header off a pass from Dru Detlefsen on a free kick from 22 yards out with 7:00 left in the opening half to propel host St. John’s Country Day to the 1-0 upset victory.
The game winning goal was set up when senior Matt Wolff made a run down his left sideline and was fouled right outside the box.
“Dru has set up Max for about five goals like that this season,” said Schmidt. “The ball was perfect. Max is our biggest player so we like to get him the ball on set pieces.”
Senior goal keeper Jared Marsano, a Flagler College commit, was outstanding in goal all night. He recorded a game-high 13 saves to register the shutout.
“Jared is playing with a lot of confidence, “ said Schmidt. “ He was really aggressive out there tonight.”
The Marauders controlled the ball for most of the game and in the second half had several scoring opportunities including multiple corner kicks but the Spartan defense came up huge. The back was controlled by Landon Brafford, Ryan Croft, Crystian DeMonbreun and Luke Glastonbury while Marsano added six big saves.
“They were outstanding tonight,” said Schmidt. “They were focused and played with a lot of poise out there.”
Tallahassee Maclay had a final scoring chance but Ryan Daunt’s free kick from 20 yards out sailed wide left as time expired in the match preserving the victory for the Spartans.
“We will enjoy this win tonight, “ said Schmidt. “We will practice on Monday and Tuesday and get focused for the Regional final.”
Maclay, a state runner up last season, was the top ranked team in Class 1A and was Nationally ranked while the Spartans are ranked 12th in Class 1A.