PALM HARBOR — It's early, but the Palm Harbor University girls are off to a nice start.
The Hurricanes advanced to the final of their annual Hurricane Watch tournament with Tuesday's 3-0 blanking of Countryside. That win came after a regular-season opening 5-0 shutout of St. Petersburg last night.
PHU's six points puts it atop Group 1 in the six-team tourney, guaranteeing it a spot in Friday night's championship match in Palm Harbor at 8 p.m.
Marisa Ruland began the night's scoring by converting a penalty kick in the 16th minute. The goal was Ruland's first of two Tuesday. She put the game fully out of reach in the 65th.
Ruland's pair of scores book-ended Allyssa Woodring finishing off a nice crossing pass from Aniko Zabo inside Countryside's penalty area in the 22nd minute.
PHU received an impressive effort from its midfield and backs. Countryside struggled to consistently control possession past midfield.
The Cougars' Lily Truong provided C-Side with two of its best scoring opportunities within two minutes of each other early in the second half. Truong pushed the first chance just wide of frame and PHU keeper Rachel Taylor denied the second.
The final two matches of group play will be held tomorrow night at PHU. East Lake takes on Seminole at 6 p.m., followed by Countryside and St. Petersburg at 8.
The first-and third-place games will be Friday night, also at 6 and 8 p.m.