The locker room talk after the game seemed to last as long as the second half.
Flagler Palm Coast’s boys soccer team gave up three goals during a four-and-a-half minute span early in the second half as the Bulldogs fell to Jacksonville Atlantic Coast 4-2 on Thursday, Jan. 19, in their final regular-season home game.
The players and coaches were frustrated.
“We’re exhausted. It’s kind of clear we’re burning out a little bit, especially when you’re playing 12, 13 guys.”
— RAMTIN AMIRI, FPC boys soccer coach
“We’re exhausted,” said FPC head coach Ramtin Amiri. “It’s kind of clear we’re burning out a little bit, especially when you’re playing 12, 13 guys. At the end of the game we had 11, because we had no available subs left, because all the guys on the bench were injured.”
The following night, the Bulldogs (8-10-1) traveled to Taylor High and lost 1-0. It was FPC’s sixth loss in its last seven games after starting the season 8-4.
The loss to Atlantic Coast was reminiscent of FPC’s 5-2 loss to Spruce Creek in the Five Star Conference tournament on Jan. 7. The Hawks scored three goals in the first six minutes of the second half to take a 4-1 lead.
“It’s us coming out too flat-footed (in the second half),” Amiri said after the Atlantic Coast game. “We had a nice conversation in the locker room, kind of like insanity, doing the same thing over and over again with the same result. You can’t be diving in and missing tackles and letting the ball go over your head, especially in a game — no offense to their team — I thought we had them in the first half. We were the better team in the first half.”
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game on Grayson Ronk’s eighth goal of the season. Jace Zecca beat his man and played the ball to Ronk, who got past his man and buried the ball in the net from just inside the 18-yard box.
Atlantic Coast (7-6-4) tied the score with a goal in the 18th minute of the first half.
Zecca scored his eighth goal of the season with 5:51 left in the game to make it 4-2.
“Jack (Moberly) played a really good ball over the top, and Jace just had more determination to get there than the goalie,” Amiri said.
The Bulldogs brought up players from JV for the Taylor game. They hope to be healthy for their first-round District 2-7A tournament game.
FPC, seeded fourth, will host fifth-seeded DeLand at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26. The winner will advance to the semifinals on Monday, Jan. 30, at Daytona State College against No. 1 seed Lake Mary.
“This team still has some life left,” Amiri said. “I’m hoping whatever magic we have left shows up (against DeLand).”