Hillsborough girls region soccer capsules

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Mon. January 31, 2011 | Eduardo A. Encina

All games at 7 p.m. unless noted

Class 6A

Palm Harbor U. (18-2) at Wharton (15-9): The Wildcats have won 11 straight, including their past two games on penalty kicks. Will their magic run out against a Palm Harbor University team that hasn’t lost since early December but pulled out a 1-0 win over Bloomingdale to keep alive its chances of repeating as 6A state champ?

Class 5A

Springstead (16-3) at Newsome (22-0): The Wolves, ranked No. 5 in the nation by ESPN Rise, continued their march to a region final rematch with No. 4 George Jenkins with a quick 8-0 win over Ocala Forest, needing just 47 minutes to enact a mercy rule. Springstead will have the odds against it. The Eagles needed penalty kicks to beat Plant City after rallying from a two-goal deficit.

Naples Gulf Coast (14-3-3) at Gaither (11-5-2): A matchup between district runnersup seems to be a toss-up. Gaither jumped on Venice by scoring two quick goals in a 2-1 win, while Gulf Coast will be making its second straight trip to Tampa after beating Freedom on penalty kicks 1-0.

Class 4A

Steinbrenner (17-2-2) at Lakewood Ranch (18-1-2): This might be the game the Warriors have been waiting for all season, a chance to avenge last year’s season-ending loss to Lakewood Ranch in this round. Steinbrenner made easy work of Osceola with a 4-2 win, and Lakewood Ranch beat Strawberry Crest 8-0 by mercy rule.

Class 3A

Tampa Catholic (6-11-1) at St. Petersburg Catholic (11-11): This is an improbable rematch of the Class 3A-10 district final, a game won by SPC 1-0. No one expected these teams to advance out of districts. Tampa Catholic hasn’t been to a region final since 1999, and SPC never has.

Class 2A

Tampa Prep (17-5-2) at Bradenton St. Stephen’s (18-3), 3:30: The Terps got a 1-0 region semifinal win over Shorecrest, but it was far from their most impressive effort. They will need a better performance against the Falcons, who beat Bishop McLaughlin 6-2 in the last round.

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