Region I soccer tournaments have a strong local flavor

Posted Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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The Class 5A and 4A Region I soccer tournaments this weekend will feature a heavy local influence.

In fact, the UIL relocated the 5A girls games from Midland to Northwest ISD Stadium because all four representatives are from the Metroplex.

Winners of Saturday’s regional finals will earn berths in the UIL State tournament, which begins Thursday at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown.

Class 5A Region I boys semifinals

Scharbauer Complex, Midland

Arlington (19-4-2) vs. Flower Mound Marcus (17-1-3), 4 p.m. Friday

El Paso Eastwood (22-2-3) vs. Coppell (22-1-2), 6 p.m. Friday

Final: 2 p.m. Saturday

Arlington is making its first regional tournament appearance since 1991 when it advanced to the state tournament. The Colts are on a nine-game winning streak. Marcus is no stranger to the regional tournament, having advanced to the regional final last season before losing to state champion Coppell. The Cowboys haven’t lost to a team from Texas since last season — when Marcus defeated them in the regular season — and are looking for back-to-back state titles. El Paso Eastwood, champions of District 1-5A, did not make the playoffs a year ago.

Class 4A Region I boys semifinals

Memorial Stadium, Wichita Falls

El Paso Andress (18-8) vs. FW North Side (23-5-1), 4 p.m. Friday

Trophy Club Nelson (24-1-2) vs. Amarillo

(23-3-1), 6:30 p.m. Friday

Final: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

North Side rebounded from losing the District 13-4A title to Fort Worth South Hills by ramping up its offense in the playoffs. The Steers play a direct style and it has produced 17 goals in four playoff matches. Andress was the fourth seed from District 1-4A, winning a tie-breaker with two other schools just to get into the playoffs, but has won 8 of its past 9 matches. Nelson lost its second game of the season, to 5A Midland on Jan. 10, and hasn’t loss since. The Bobcats thrive by shutting down opponents, and have allowed only 12 goals this year. Amarillo was a regional semifinalist last season and, like North Side, is coming off an overtime win in the regional quarterfinal (2-1 over El Paso Bowie).

Class 5A Region I girls semifinals

Northwest ISD Stadium, Justin

Southlake Carroll (22-1-1) vs. Coppell (14-4-7), noon Friday

Keller (18-4-4) vs. Hebron (18-2-2),

2 p.m. Friday

Final: noon Saturday

This regional tournament reveals the strength of Districts 4-5A (Tarrant County) and 5-5A (Dallas County), which produced all four teams. Carroll lost in the state final last season to Plano West, and has lost only once since then. Carroll is loaded with talent and is battle-tested following a championship run through 4-5A. Coppell, the 2009 state champion, was just the fourth seed coming out of District 5-5A, and has advanced via three 1-0 wins in the postseason. Keller uses four freshmen regularly and has outscored opponents 12-0 in the playoffs. District 5-5A champion Hebron hasn’t lost since Jan. 31, but survived in penalty kicks in the regional quarterfinal against Midlothian.

Class 4A Region I girls semifinals

Memorial Stadium, Wichita Falls

Canyon Randall (20-4-3) vs. FW Arlington Heights (17-2), 11 a.m. Friday

Trophy Club Nelson (20-2-5) vs. Lubbock Monterey (23-5-4), 1:30 p.m. Friday

Final: 11 a.m. Saturday

Nelson and Randall advanced to the regional tournament last year, both losing to eventual state champion Denton Guyer. Arlington Heights made sure that won’t happen this season by knocking out the defending champs in the regional quarterfinal on Monday. Heights has outscored opponents 13-0 en route to the regional semifinals. Nelson won’t be intimidated by anyone, having played in and won perhaps the toughest district in the state. Randall is unbeaten in 13 straight matches. Monterey is the first Lubbock school to reach the regional tournament since 2008.

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