LAND O' LAKES - Explosive Sunlake lived up to its advanced billing Thursday night at Seahawk Stadium against visiting Nature Coast Technical.
The Seahawks, who arrived scoring 155 goals, averaging 5.5 goals per game, have thrived on collecting goals in bunches.
That pattern persisted during the Class 3A, Region II boys soccer quarterfinal in Pasco County when the Seahawks pocketed their 10th straight win by eliminating NCT via the eight-goal mercy rule at 73:00 minutes, 8-0.
The 'Hawks (27-1-1) main sniper was sophomore Remi Pimm, who arrived with a team-high 55 goals and 36 assists.
Pimm took control tallying a game-high four goals - including three and an assist in a six-goal second half - all after a spectacular bicycle-kick goal with less than a minute remaining in the first half following a long throw on a set piece by junior striker Connor Spencer.
Spencer did his part chipping in his 24th and 25th goals of the season along with his team-leading 38th and 39th assists this winter.
On a Seahawk team where 15 different players have scored at least one goal, junior forward Cobi Shermo added his 22nd goal of the season to open the scoring at 13:11 while senior defender Colin Armstrong notched his third of the season on a header to close the books.
As Sunlake claimed its sixth straight series nod over NCT (12-13), the host Seahawks utilized their Gatling gun-precision aiming 30 shots on goal against beleaguered Shark goalie Vito Tambasco Jr. Tambasco kept the Brooksville booters in the game with 13 saves.
On the other end of the soggy pitch, Seahawk sophomore keeper Danny Hrenko faced one shot and left with one save for his 20th shutout.
Sunlake will travel to a 3A-II semifinal next Tuesday at the Citrus Bowl at Inverness.
On Thursday, the 3A-7 champion Golden Hurricanes of Citrus High ousted 3A-8 runner-up Land O' Lakes, 4-3.
Clinging to a 1-0 cushion with the first half nearly spent, Pimm's bicycle goal seemed to take any momentum away from NCT.
"We were trying to keep it close and then the bicycle goal," lamented NCT's fifth-year mentor Ian Wald, who dipped to 1-8 lifetime against SHS. "Then to begin the second half, we foul in the box and they bury a PK (penalty kick); that hurt.
"We executed our game plan for a while, but couldn't sustain," noted Wald. "The boys left it on the field. The only regret I have is not winning districts. This is the best Nature Coast team in years."
"I thought Remi's bicycle kick broke their backs; getting any goals before the half is huge," indicated Sunlake skipper Sam Koleduk. "I thought we played well, particularly in the second half."
Describing NCT, "They're a hard-working team," detailed Koleduk. "I definitely think you'll see them back next year. The biggest thing was they never quit."
"We worked real well at getting that second goal," admitted the 17-year-old Spencer. "It's really hard to defend those long throw-ins. We set it up nice; that was Remi's second bicycle."
Spencer believed his team needed some time to warm up.
"We started out a little slow, but we did a great job of picking up the pace as the match went on," said Spencer. "I think it'll be tougher playing at Citrus on Tuesday. The key is we have to continue to play our game and take it one match at a time."
"After that second goal, we started to take control," insisted the 16-year-old Pimm. "The further we go, the more exciting the matches become. We're all looking forward to the state championship."
On evaluating NCT, "They put a lot of effort into the game," he said. "I really respect teams that work hard."
Sunlake 8, Nature Coast Technical 0 (Game called at 73:00 via mercy rule)
NCT 0 0-0
SNL 2 6-8
Goals - SNL: Pimm (4), Spencer (2), Shermo, Armstrong.
Assists - SNL: Spencer (2), Kallenborn, Pimm, Goble, Michael.
Shots on goal - NCT: 1; SNL: 30.
Saves - NCT: Tambasco (13); SNL: Hrenko (1).
Yellow Card - NCT: Draper (persistent infringement), Remondelli (unsporting behavior): SNL: Bachman (unsporting behavior).
Records - Nature Coast Technical (12-13, Sunlake (27-1-1).