Tonight's region semifinals are all about rematches. Three of the four games feature teams in the same district, so not only did they play in the district final 11 days ago, they also hooked up at least once in the regular season. Seminole and East Lake are the most familiar, squaring off for the fifth time. All games at 7 p.m.
Plant (11-7-1) at Palm Harbor University (18-5-3)
The Panthers haven't been to the region semifinals since 2003; the Hurricanes were there just last season on their way to winning the Class 5A state title. In fact, aside from a blip in 2008, the Panthers haven't missed the region semifinals in nine years. PHU's defense, backed by Joshua Paul in goal, shut out Countryside and Bloomingdale in back-to-back big game victories.
Seminole (16-8-2) at East Lake (18-1-2)
Both teams won handily in the region quarters, setting up the fifth installment of what has developed into a heated rivalry. The district final— won 3-2 by East Lake on a 74th minute redirect by Anthony Giordano — was one of the most hotly contested matches of the season. Seminole is looking for its first win this year over East Lake, which owns a 3-0-1 record over the Warhawks.
Clearwater Central Catholic (8-14-2) at Berkeley Prep (12-8-3)
On aggregate, Berkeley Prep leads CCC 7-1 through two meetings this season. The Marauders are in the region semis for the first time since 2007, when they were a state finalist. With nine state titles, they have the richest soccer tradition of any team in the state. Recent history, though, favors the Buccaneers.
Indian Rocks Christian (16-7) at Tampa Prep (16-4-1)
Cody Sitton took over in the second half of the Golden Eagles' 3-0 shutout on the road at Sarasota Out-of-Door. The precocious freshman, IRC's leading scorer all year, had all three of IRC's goals and has 25 total. The Golden Eagles are hoping to avoid dropping to 0-3 against Tampa Prep this season.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer