Fletcher advances to boys, girls finals in Gateway tournament

Twelve goals scored. One goal allowed.


It doesn’t get much better than that for Fletcher’s boys and girls soccer squads, which kept hopes alive for a rare Gateway Conference soccer double.

Fletcher’s girls soccer team defeated Sandalwood 5-1 and the Senators’ boys beat Atlantic Coast 7-0 at a cold and blustery Patton Park Wednesday, advancing to their respective championship games in the Duval County public school competition.

The Senators’ boys team bounced back from a Tuesday night scare against Wolfson to power goals past the Stingrays, a team just two years removed from a trip to the state semifinal.

James Schaefer began the scoring after two minutes and Van Slabicki tallied a hat trick, while Patrick Wendell, Bryce Deighan and Seth Donelan also scored for Fletcher (16-0-1).

Brian Schaefer and Jordan Mackey organized the attack from deep for the Senators, who have scored three or more goals in each of their last 11 games.

They’ll meet defending Gateway champion Mandarin in the final. Ardit Zani scored the 72nd-minute game-winner for the Mustangs (9-3-3) to defeat Sandalwood in a rematch of district foes.

Justin Uhrmacher scored the opening goal for Sandalwood (15-3-1) before Jack McNamee equalized on a Mandarin breakaway.

Led by center back Carson Sapp, a Jacksonville University commit, and goalkeeper Armin Cordic, the Mustangs held off sustained Sandalwood pressure late.

In the girls semifinals, Fletcher (11-7-1) got two goals from Ali Shimazaki in the first half and three from senior captain Ireland Jarvis in the second to pull away from Sandalwood. Reese Register scored for the Saints (17-4-2).

That sets up a championship game rematch against Stanton, which extended its shutout streak to 10 games by defeating Mandarin 4-0.

The Blue Devils (13-2-2), Class 3A state finalists in February, scored all four goals in the first half. Camille Prosswimmer opened the scoring with a penalty kick, followed by strikes from Sarah Eva, Olivia Winter and Imani Ashman.

Stanton was the last school to win both the boys and girls Gateway soccer titles, achieving the feat in 2015. The Blue Devils defeated Fletcher 6-1 in the 2017 final on four Ashman goals.

Friday’s schedule, also at Patton Park, begins with the girls final at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys championship at 7:20.