Bloomingdale Bulls Men's Soccer 2003-2004 Season




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 Published Articles

Experience, and a title to boot Series:


MIKE READLINGSt. Petersburg TimesSt. Petersburg, Fla.: Dec 24, 2003.  pg. 6.C

Full Text (429   words)

Copyright Times Publishing Co. Dec 24, 2003

Bloomingdale's Sam Isajar was looking at the Student Sports Invitational much the same

way as many of his coaching companions. It was a chance to measure his squad against

some of the best teams from around the state and in the national rankings.


Isajar called the tournament a tune-up for some tough January district games but

thought it could be much more for his Bulls. Not only was he right, but Isajar learned a

little something along the way.


Bloomingdale staked itself to a lead thanks to a pair of Tom Davison goals early in the

first half, then scored late to beat back suddenly energetic Orange Park, winning the

Premier Bracket championship 3-1.


The title was the Bulls' third since the tourney began in 1994 and adds to their legacy as

the most successful school to participate in the event. They also have a pair of

runner-up finishes and two third-place showings in the past 10 years. Perhaps more

important than the win for Bloomingdale (15-1) was what Isajar learned about his team

in the past five days.


The Bulls played a district game Friday night in Sarasota and didn't return home until

after midnight. Their first tournament match-up was Saturday morning at 9

(a 1-0 victory on penalty kicks), followed by another game at 2:30, which they won.

Tuesday's championship was the Bulls' sixth game in five days though they didn't show

much of the weariness some of the other teams fought. Part of the reason is that

Isajar was forced to use more of his bench than normal, which may prove beneficial

en route to district play.


"I discovered there are some good players on my bench," Isajar said. "I had to use them,

and now I know they can play. This gave me an idea of how far we can go. My goal is

always to win the state championship, and now I think we can get it."


Berkeley Prep topped Tallahassee Leon 3-1 to finish third in the Premier bracket. Had

things gone differently in a 3-2 semifinal loss to Bloomingdale, hosts Jesuit and Berkeley

might have won their tournaments.


"We always come out of this playing better, and we've never finished this good," Bucs

striker Tyler Davis said.


Davis was named the Premier offensive MVP with eight goals and five assists. He has 23

 goals this season. In the bracket's other action, Miami Sunset, No. 1 in the nation, beat

Lake Mary 3-0 for fifth and Countryside defeated Clearwater Central Catholic 2-0 for



- Times correspondent Jeremy Rasmussen contributed to this report.


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