Loggers’ Run girls’ soccer reaches semifinals of middle school playoffs

It had been 11 years since the Loggers’ Run Middle School girls’ soccer team won the Palm Beach County Middle Soccer Championship and coach Chris Malavar said he believed his team could contend for the title this year.

“This was the first time that we have made it to the final four since then,” said Malavar, who completed his sixth year as coach. “We have been to the playoffs three out of the six years I have been coaching and this was the first time making it this far.”

Loggers’ Run eighth-graders Natalia Custer and Morgan Tarakoski each finished with a team-leading 13 goals, while eighth-grade goalkeeper Eveyln Soroka-Quiroz posted seven clean sheets for the Lumberjacks (9-4) this season.

Soroka-Quiroz missed the county semifinal because she was out of town and seventh-grader Ella DiNapoli, normally the team’s center back, filled in and made eight saves against Don Estridge in the 1-0 loss. Isabelle Wallach scored the game-winning goal in the 40th minute for the Dragons. It was their third loss of the season to Don Estridge.

“I knew that I had a good squad because I had four girls on my team that played in their sixth-grade year and we made the playoffs that year,” Malavar said. “I knew we would be competitive, but our conference is super competitive with Omni, Boca Middle and Estridge in there. It is anybody’s day really. Our team just got better and better as the year went on as we sorted out the right formations that worked for us.”

Loggers’ Run Middle School eighth grader Natalia Custer, center, looks to control the ball in a semifinal game against host Don Estridge in the Palm Beach County Middle School girls’ soccer semifinals. Also pictured from Don Estridge are Taylor Cohen (21) and Julianna Uzzo (9). Don Estridge won the game, 1-0. (Gary Curreri/Contributor)

“Don Estridge was a fantastic team,” said Malavar, who hopes to make a return visit to the playoffs next season. “That’s our goal every time. I had four sixth-graders this year and one of them started, so we’ll see. It’s a tough road, but you have to believe you can do it.”

Malavar also cited the play of eighth-grader defender Victoria Griffith, CMF/F Erin Hill and CMF Maddison Iglesias.

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