MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
All games 7 p.m. Thursday unless noted. Admission $6.
Durant (12-7-2) at Central (9-7-3): Central is back in the region quarterfinals for the second year in a row after defeating Springstead 2-1 in overtime on Friday. The Bears lost to Newsome 7-1 in their last playoff appearance a year ago. Durant is slumping as it enters regionals. The Cougars have lost three of their past five, including an ugly 6-1 defeat to Newsome in the district final.
Springstead (11-2-4) at Newsome (13-5-3): Springstead is in the region tournament for the first time since 2007 but faces an uphill task against Newsome. The Wolves, led by Joey Perfetto’s 18 goals and 18 assists, have won four straight and compiled an impressive record against a formidable schedule. The Wolves went to the region finals a year ago. The Eagles haven’t won a region playoff game since 2004 when they advanced to the region finals.
Sunlake (18-8-1) at Hudson (8-8-1): Consider this matchup the all-upset quarterfinal. Sunlake scored a 2-1 victory over higher-seeded River Ridge in the district semifinals to earn the school’s first regional playoff appearance. Hudson claimed three surprising victories, knocking off Mitchell, Wesley Chapel and Pasco in succession to host its first region game since reaching the region finals in 2009.
Pasco (20-2) at Land O’Lakes (23-1): Easily the most anticipated region quarterfinal. Land O’Lakes scored two second-half goals to defeat Pasco 3-2 on Jan. 19 in a game that clinched the Sunshine Athletic Conference title for the Gators. The Pirates hadn’t lost until that game, opening the season with 16 straight wins, but have dropped two of their past six after a 2-0 upset loss to Hudson on Friday in the district championship.
Bishop McLaughlin (18-5) at Bradenton St. Stephen’s (16-3-2), 3:30 p.m.: Bishop McLaughlin had a string of three shutout victories snapped in the district final after losing 4-0 to Tampa Prep. The Hurricanes will likely get a shot at a rematch with the Terrapins if they defeat St. Stephen’s. Bad news for Bishop: the Falcons are making their seventh straight appearance in the region tournament, and they are 5-1 in region quarterfinal games.