Lady Marlins clip Lewis Falcons for title

Tina Harbuck

With temps in the low 40s the Destin Marlins pulled off a 2-1 victory over the Lewis Falcon to claim the Okaloosa County Middle School 1A Girls Soccer title for the second year in a row Thursday night in Niceville.

“I’m so proud of these girls. They worked hard to avenge the loss from a couple of weeks ago and bring home a trophy for the second year in a row,” said Destin Coach Demetris Stevens.

“The girls never quit. I told them at the half to just keep hammering it and keep working at it and those goals were going to go in,” Stevens said.

And they did. With a scoreless first half, the Marlins came out and scored in the first minute of the second half with Jarney Enriquez finding the back of the net.

About 12 minutes later, Destin scored again on a follow through from Ally Dowdy just feet away from the goal.

Three minutes later, Lewis scored their only goal of the game with Destin taking the win.

“The whole team did great,” said Destin team captain Natalie Denton.

“We had a lot of young players here, but they didn’t back off. They pushed as hard as they could.

“I told them before the game we’re capable of beating them if we bring that team work and execute,” Denton said.

Semifinal round

To make it to the championship game, Destin defeated the Meigs Wildcats 6-0 in the semifinals Tuesday evening in Destin.

“They played really well together … they came out focused,” Stevens said.

“They had an intensity that they held onto throughout the game. It was really impressive to see the group gel together that way.

“The trust they had in each other was impressive to see as a coach. It was a good team victory,” he said.

Destin scored in the first five minutes of play with Denton kicking one on a cross from Keelie Kleppinger.

The other score in the first half came about 20 minutes in on a shot right up the middle by Enriquez.

In the first five minutes of the second half, Denton passed the ball over to Mary Gargas who passed off to Enriquez who booted the ball in the back of the net for a 3-0 score.

Three minutes later, Destin struck again with Dowdy scoring on a kick from left to right from about 15 yards out.

With 20 minutes to go in the second half, Denton passed to Enriquez who again kicked it in for a 5-0 game and a hat trick.

In the final five minutes of play, the Destin offense bombarded the Meigs goal with Dowdy getting the tap in for a 6-0 finish.

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