MANATEE COUNTY - The Palmetto Tigers boy’s soccer team has been no stranger to the state final four in the past few seasons. But getting to the state championship game has been uncharted territory for them.
Friday night marked the 3rd time in the past 4 seasons that head coach Dustin Dahlquist has led the Tigers to the state final four – and the 3rd time they’ve fallen short. Palmetto lost to American Heritage 3-1 in Plantation.
“We've worked real hard with this team over the last couple of years. They've grown up a lot, they've done everything that we've asked them to do, and that hard work for them has paid off,” said Coach Dahlquist before heading down state for Friday’s game.
The Tigers had outscored their opponents 12-1 in the 3 regional playoff games to get to the final four. “With the last two final fours, we didn't get through. And I think this team has as good shot as any to get to the state finals.”
They believe in balance, and the team concept. They finish the season 25-2-3, so the season had been successful whether they got to the title game or not. “It’s just a reaffirmation that the things that we're doing here are the proper things, and that our players are definitely ready,” said Coach Dahlquist.