Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Regional soccer tourney preview: 21 area teams vie for shots at state titles
North Texas will be well represented at this weekend’s regional soccer tournaments, with 21 Dallas-area teams vying for state berths.
It’s the best Dallas-area representation at regionals since at least 2000. Last year, 15 area teams reached regional tournaments, and two — the Plano West and Highland Park girls — won state titles.
Plano West and Highland Park will be back to defend their regional crowns. And several area boys teams, which were shut out of a state title last season, will be looking to make a trip to Georgetown next week.
The Class 5A Region I boys and a girls tournaments will feature all local talent. That regional includes Flower Mound Marcus and Southlake Carroll, both of which advanced their boys and girls squads. The tournament was moved from Midland to Birdville earlier this week to accommodate the local field.
Four wins separate the area’s 21 teams from a state championship, and odds are good that at least one of them will win a title. In the last six years, 17 of the 24 state titles awarded have gone to Dallas-Fort Worth area teams.
Class 5A Region I
Birdville ISD Fine Arts and Athletic Complex, North Richland Hills
The all-local regional will feature three teams in the top four of SportsDay’s area rankings. Southlake Carroll, which won the state title in 2011, eked past El Paso Montwood, 2-1, in overtime. Flower Mound Marcus hasn’t allowed a goal in its three playoff wins. Coppell is in its first regional since 2006 and will face Keller Central, which has never been past the area round of the playoffs.
With its run to the regional tournament, Southlake Carroll has set a record with 27 wins this season. Carroll and Flower Mound Marcus have won 5A titles in the last decade: Carroll in 2008, Marcus in 2005. Hebron and Keller finished last season as fourth-place seeds from their districts, losing in the bi-district round. Neither has made the state tournament.
Class 5A Region II
Kelly Reeves Complex, Austin
Rivals McKinney and McKinney Boyd would meet in the regional final if they win their semifinal matches. Boyd senior forward Sewell Yost, who has 13 goals this year, is the program’s all-time scoring leader. McKinney, which has yet to allow a postseason goal, is unranked and finished behind Boyd in District 10-5A.The Woodlands is making its second straight trip to the Region II tournament.
Defending 5A champ Plano West is unbeaten, with draws to Highland Park and Coppell as its lone blemishes. Plano West has 12 shutouts in its last 14 games. Sachse freshman Cyera Hintzen has scored seven goals in the last three playoff games, including two hat tricks. In the regional tournament for the third straight season, Sachse will face unbeaten, untied Austin Westlake in the semis.
Class 4A Region I
Memorial Stadium, Wichita Falls
Birdville and Amarillo will aim to prevent a rematch of last year’s 4A Region I final between Wichita Falls Rider and El Paso Del Valle. Birdville is coming off a resounding 3-0 quarterfinal victory against Stephenville and has outscored playoff opponents 10-1. Rider, the defending 4A Region I champion, defeated No. 3 Trophy Club Byron Nelson and Granbury to reach Friday’s semifinal.
All eyes are on a potential regional final match between District 11-4A champ Denton Guyer and runnerup Trophy Club Byron Nelson. Down from 5A, Guyer is looking for its first state tournament trip. Forward Brittany Crabtree has 12 multi-goal games this year for Guyer. Nelson lost to Highland Park in a shootout in last year’s 4A final. Both of Nelson’s two losses have come against Guyer.
Class 4A Region II
Standridge Stadium, Carrollton
North Dallas will face Mesquite Poteet in an intriguing semifinal to close out Friday’s matches in Carrollton. North Dallas has gone four rounds deep the last four years and finally broke through to the regional tournament. Poteet, ranked fifth in the area 4A rankings, hasn’t lost since Feb. 22. Frisco Wakeland has won four straight playoff games by the same 2-0 score.
Highland Park, the defending 4A champ, has the state’s longest unbeaten streak at 45 games. Mackenzie Posey scored a hat trick in the final 19 minutes of the regional quarterfinal for Waxahachie, rallying her team for a 3-2 win over Longview Pine Tree. Third place in District 21-4A, Wylie is one of six teams from the 64 remaining in the UIL playoffs that finished lower than second in district.