Spruce Creek scored 5 goals in the first half to win.
Flagler Palm Coast's boys soccer team went through hard times during the 2017-18 season. Four-year head coach Reg Monsanto was fired after the first game of the regular season and the team won a total of seven games.
Former assistant coach Troy Stone was promoted to the head coaching position ahead of the 2018-19 season. The Bulldogs set a goal of increasing their win total from the previous year as well as advancing to the state playoffs.
The Bulldogs accomplished one of those goals.
Despite upsetting University on the road on Jan. 25, the Bulldogs' season ended with a 5-0 loss to Spruce Creek in the district semifinal on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at Spruce Creek High School. The Bulldogs (10-12-2) surrendered three goals to the Hawks in the game's opening eight minutes.
"Spruce Creek is an amazing team," Stone said. "We dug ourselves in a massive hole. It's disappointing to lose, but we shot ourselves in the foot multiple times. Going against a team that good? You're done."
With the Hawks leading 5-0 at halftime, Stone challenged his team to win the second half.
Senior team captain Nick DeMorias didn't dwell on the fact that his high school career was going to end in a blowout. He used the final 40 minutes to have fun with his teammates.
"The whole year was a fun experience," he said. "It got to the point where we wanted to just have fun, not look at the result and play for each other."
After the game, DeMorias said he was happy. The weight of the end of his high school career hadn't hit him yet. He expects to feel the shock in the next few days.
As for the team he's leaving behind, DeMorias believes the Bulldogs are on the right tack with Stone at the helm.
"This program is going places. I'm proud that I was here as a starting block," he said. "They're going to do great things."