Daniel Bien-Aime II
| St. Augustine Record
Grace Ivey goals in the district tournament against Flager Palm Coast
Two of Grace Ivey’s goals in the District 1-7A tournament against Flager Palm Coast. Ivey had a hat trick. Video recorded on February 9, 2021
Daniel Bien-Aime II, St. Augustine Record
Two St. Johns County soccer teams won district titles this week, the Bartram Trail Girls and the Menendez Boys.
Here’s a look at who won and what happens next.
Bartram Trail Girls: No. 2 in the Nation
The bears (14-2) played like number 2 in the country.
Rated by MaxPreps, the bears dominated the final of District 1-7A against Flagler Palm Coast 5-0. This is the fifth title in a row in the program. FPC is 13-4-5.
Bartram Trail head coach Jennifer Rodriguez was thrilled.
“It feels great,” said Rodriguez. “We worked really hard for it. It’s good to see everything we work on in practice come on the field and do it.”
Rodriquez was most pleased with the bears’ possession.
“We held the ball well today,” said Rodriquez. “I think we dominated that part of the game.”
Junior forAvery Williams scored within the first five minutes of play. The Bears defense held out 1-0 for the remainder of the half as they led.
In the second half, the Bears offensive turned ballistic, led by second midfielder Grace Ivey, who scored three goals to get a hat trick.
“We were all focused on working together and keeping the ball,” said Ivey. “It’s our main strategy, so we focus on it and we’ve all worked as a team.”
When Ivey scored her second goal, she bet on the hat trick.
“I was hoping for it. I really wanted one,” said Ivey.
The Bartram Trail will host the District 2 runner-up, Lake Mary (7-7-1), at a regional quarter-finals on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Menendez boys win
The Menendez boys took the title in District 3-4A. The Falcons defeated Orange Park Ridgeview 2-1 in extra time.
This is only the team’s second district title since 2000. Senior midfielder David Manaute scored both goals.
Menendez (13-2) avenged Ridgeview last year by losing the title game – a game that ended 1-1 but was lost on penalties.
“This is evidence of their hard work,” said Menendez head coach Ron Messick. “I’m just getting the monkey off your back. I’m really proud of you.”
Ridgeview (11-9-3) tied the game in the waning minutes to force overtime. Messick was slightly concerned that last year’s loss might have affected his team’s psyche.
“We lost to Ridgeview on penalties last year,” said Messick. “You carry the weight of that pressure because you know you got a head start last year and then we’ll let you come back. So all of these things start to play in your head.”
But Messick was impressed with the determination of his team.
“The seniority when you have 13 seniors on the team,” Messick said. “It was just them. No coaching, I didn’t do any magic lineups. There were only 11 players on the field who wanted it more than anything.
“They didn’t want to let go of it. They wouldn’t lose it again. You could see it, you could just feel it, they wouldn’t lose the game.”
Menendez will host a regional quarter-final match against District 4 runner-up, either Bishop Kenny or Yulee, next Wednesday. These teams play for the district title on Thursday.