The Flagler Palm Coast “Lizards” rallied in the second half and scored five unanswered goals Saturday, Nov. 13, to defeat the Matanzas Pirates, 10-7, on the first of two days in the Veterans Cup Tournament, at Indian Trails Sports Complex and Indian Trails Middle School.
The FPC team played under the “Lizards” alias, not the Bulldogs, because of a disciplinary issue from another tournament last month.
Saturday’s game was one of runs. The Lizards jumped out to an early two-goal lead. But the Pirates rallied, scoring four goals and went into halftime with a 6-5 lead. But the speed of the Lizards proved too much in the second half, as the Lizards went on a five-goal run.
Matanzas coach Greg Kong said was this was another successful tournament, which drew more than 1,400 players. The unfortunate part of the success, Kong said, was that he had to turn away 10 teams because there aren’t enough fields to accommodate as many teams. Kong said the complex has only eight fields and it needed 10 to accommodate more teams.
Nevertheless, both Kong and FPC coach Ryan Andrews think the tournaments are a great way for their teams to develop.
“In these tournaments, our goal is working on team continuity,” Kong said. “I’m proud of the performance our veteran players displayed.”
The Pirates went 4-4 in the tournament over the two days.
“Wins and losses aside, our young men displayed tremendous heart this tournament,” Kong said. “All the players said they had a blast.”
The Lizards went 4-1 and took third place in their division.
Andrews said Sigi Schmidt, who had a successful game against the Pirates, put FPC into the playoffs last season after scoring in sudden-death overtime.
“Come spring, the (FPC) high school teams should be strong and fast,” Andrews said. “There are a lot of good teams popping up around Florida, and (we) plan on making a trip back to the district playoffs.”
And to top off the tournament, legendary golfer Arnold Palmer was in town to watch his grandson, who plays on the Jupiter Blue Devils.