MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
All games Thursday at 7 p.m. Admission is $6.
Class 6A, St. Petersburg (13-5) at Wharton (14-9)
The Wildcats have won 10 straight since starting the season 4-9, and the biggest reason might be junior goalkeeper Heather Montgomery, who has allowed just one goal during the streak and had 41 saves in the past two games.
Class 6A, Bloomingdale (11-6-1) at PHU (17-2)
Losing to Wharton in penalty kicks in the Class 6A-8 title game was the worst thing that could have happened to the Bulls. They dominated most of the game but lost and now have to travel to face a PHU team making its 14th straight region appearance and hasn’t lost since early December.
Class 5A, Ocala Forest (12-6-1) at Newsome (21-0)
Newsome has never lost a game in the region quarterfinals or semifinals, and this year doesn’t look to be any different. The Wolves are the county’s top team, have been unstoppable throughout the season and have their eyes on a region final date with George Jenkins.
Class 5A, Plant City (14-5-1) at Springstead (15-3)
The Raiders are making their second region tournament appearance in school history, while Springstead has yet to win a region tournament game in eight previous appearances.
Class 5A, Gaither (10-5-2) at Venice (12-3-3)
Gaither is making its first region appearance since 2005, and the Cowboys will face a tough challenge against a Venice team that won its third straight district title and blanked opponents 5-0 in its past two games.
Class 5A, Naples Gulf Coast (13-3-3) at Freedom (11-1-3)
The Patriots have momentum on their side after beating Gaither in the 5A-9 district title match thanks to Emily Ball’s two saves in penalty kicks. Count on this game to be a defensive affair as Freedom faces a Naples Gulf Coast team that has tallied 14 shutouts.
Class 4A, Strawberry Crest (4-10) at Lakewood Ranch (17-1-2)
The Chargers, playing in their first region tournament in the program’s second year, will need a monumental effort against the Mustangs, a team that has registered 12 straight shutouts and is coming off a 5-0 dismantling of Osceola in the district final.
Class 4A, Osceola (12-5-1) at Steinbrenner (16-2-2)
The second-year Warriors are more prepared for the postseason this time around thanks to an improved nondistrict schedule. Steinbrenner beat both of its district opponents in mercy-ruled 8-0 wins and has lost just one game since its first game of the season.
Class 3A, Tampa Catholic (5-11-1) at Frostproof (13-1-4)
The Cinderella Crusaders made their season with an upset of defending state finalist Berkeley Prep in the District 3A-10 semifinals. They narrowly lost to St. Petersburg Catholic in the district final 1-0, but will need a complete effort to play with a defensive-minded Frostproof team with just one loss.
Class 2A, Shorecrest (13-7) at Tampa Prep (16-5-2)
The Terrapins beat Shorecrest with a mercy rule 8-0 win in the first game of the season and with Tampa Prep getting healthy and starting to get into its annual postseason groove — its only losses in its past 17 games were to George Jenkins and Plant — this could be another early night.