Girls’ soccer games between Harmony and St. Cloud have been traditionally marked by close, hard-fought affairs.  Monday night was an exception to the rule, however, as Harmony dominated the Lady Bulldogs and cruised to a 4-0 win.

It was the second win this season for the Longhorns over their arch rivals, as they won a tight 3-2 win in December during the semifinals of the Orange Belt Conference Tournament.  “I’m a little hard pressed to come up with an explanation for tonight,” St. Cloud coach Shawn Beck said.  “As always, I felt we matched up pretty well with them but we simply did not bring it tonight.  Sometimes in these emotionally intense rivalry games you end up beating yourself before the game even starts and I suspect that was the case tonight.”

The first 20 minutes of the match was pretty much played to a stalemate.  

Harmony registered the only shot on goal in that time but it was an easy save for St. Cloud goalie Priscilla Rodriguez.  Both teams ratcheted up the pressure in the second part of the first half, but neither team could get a quality shot on goal –that was until the 39th minute when Rylee Husbands put a nifty touch pass past a charging Rodriguez, side-stepped the goalie and buried a shot in the center of the net for a 1-0 lead.

It remained 1-0 until 48th minute when Lily Glassburn took a cross and found the right hand corner of the goal to put Harmony up 2-0.

Gabriella Guzman would then take over.

With 13:51 remaining in the game, she would score from inside the box off of a counter attack and with time running down added a second goal in the 75th minute with a blast from the top of the box for the final margin of victory.  

St. Cloud had a few opportunities to score in the game, with their best chance coming in the 35th minute when Alyssa Reynolds had a breakaway.  But she was slightly bumped off the ball inside the box and failed to get off a solid shot.

“It was a much better performance for us compared to the first time we played them,” Harmony assistant coach Doug Johnson, who was filling in for suspended head coach Scott Marlega, said.  “A lot of the credit goes to our midfield.  Sometimes we play a little timid and push the ball back when we should be moving forward.  Tonight we attacked to the open spaces, made some good passes and were able to finish.”

For the game, the Longhorns led the Bulldogs in both shots (9-5), shots on goal (4-2), and corner kicks (4-2).  Harmony committed five fouls compared to two by St. Cloud. 

It was Harmony’s 10 win in their last 15 games against the Bulldogs (10-2-3) and pushed the Longhorns to 7-3-2 on the season.  The Longhorns are in the middle of a busy week as this was the first of three games this week.  Harmony has home games with East River on Wednesday and Lake Howell on Thursday.

St. Cloud fell to 5-7-0 on the season and has one regular season game left against East River before opening district play.