Sunlake is finally realizing it no longer is the underdog.
That was pretty evident as Connor Gilboy scored two goals to lead the Seahawks (21-0) to a 2-1 win against crosstown rival Land O' Lakes (9-4).
The victory secures the No. 1 seed in the Class 3A-District 7 tournament, which beings Jan. 21 at Pasco, and solidifies Sunlake as Pasco County's top team.
"We've spent four years hearing we're the underdogs," said Gilboy, who has a county-leading 49 goals this season. "Now that roles have changed, we're also not used to being down."
Sunlake found itself in a quick 1-0 hole against the Gators, who took the lead in the 12th minute when Stephen Garcia put home a rebound off a corner kick by Mike Moran. Gilboy would tie the game before halftime on an impressive 30-yard shot that sailed over goalkeeper Tommy Kohen's head.
"I thought getting that goal before the half was vital, because it would have been a totally different game if we'd been down in the second half," Sunlake coach Sam Koleduk said. "I thought we left a lot of easy chances out there, too, but we definitely deserved to win."
The Gators might disagree, because the Seahawks' second goal came in the 69th minute when a Gilboy shot deflected off Garcia in the box, then bounced into the net. After clarification, Gilboy was awarded the goal, giving him 100 for his career as a four-year starter.
"I definitely took a shot," Gilboy said, "so a goal is a goal."
Land O' Lakes will have to settle for being the second-best team in its town, but the Gators should be encouraged by how they've played Sunlake in two meetings. The Gators lost 3-2 earlier in the season.