The Coral Shores Hurricanes varsity girls soccer team takes on Key West Wednesday, November 8, 2023. The Canes went on to lose 2-1. Photo by Doug Finger

Soccer season officially opened for regular season matches Nov. 6 and two Keys teams wasted no time getting started. On Nov. 8, the Lady Conchs traveled to Tavernier to take on Coral Shores in a non-district matchup. Key West won the game 2-1, with both goals coming from Ella Baxter. Coral Shores was able to put one in the net off a corner kick in which multiple players on both sides were able to get a foot on the ball. During the chaotic scramble, the ball found the goal, with Ali Beth Wilson receiving credit and Kai Redruello earning the assist. Both teams played well, their coaches said, especially for a game this early in the season. The teams will meet for a rematch in Key West on Dec. 8.

Key West played a second match on Nov. 11, traveling to Doral Academy to take on the highly-ranked perennial powerhouse on the road. Key West lost the match to the 7A Firebirds, but Maddie Kilduff saved the Conchs from being shut out with a goal assisted by Baxter. With two games and an even record, Key West will head north for a tournament this weekend where they will face Fort Myers and Lemon Bay. Coral Shores has a clear schedule until Nov. 29 when they play at Marathon for the Dolphins’ first game this season. 

Key West’s boys opened their season at home against Ransom Everglades on Nov. 11. The Conchs played well in their first match, with some great defense from backs Kieran Smith and Owen Lindley, who helped to hold the Raiders to half the scoring of the teams’ matchup last season. 

Key West’s goal in the game came from Loubins Fleuridor on a pass from Sebastian Camargo. First year head coach Nic Farrar was pleased with his team’s effort, praising their collective play on an unseasonably hot afternoon. The 2-1 loss was not what the Conchs were hoping for, but with the young team already working well together, a deep postseason run similar to what Key West enjoyed last season is not out of reach. Farrar and his team will now focus their efforts on Somerset Silver Palms, who they will play on the road on Friday, Nov. 17 before a brief break for the holiday.

Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.