East Lake (13-6-2) at Seminole (17-2-2)
This matchup marks the fourth time the Eagles and Warhawks will meet this season. Seminole is 2-0-1 against East Lake, including a 3-1 victory less than two weeks ago for the district title, and enters as the favorite. The Warhawks are trying to advance to the region finals for the third season in a row but can't overlook East Lake. The Eagles have an electrifying scorer in Florida commit Tatiana Perez and one of the county's top facilitators in FAU commit Stephanie Ferro. East Lake, meanwhile, must keep a close mark on Warhawks junior forward Sierra Lelii, who has scored four goals in three games against the Eagles this season.
Clearwater Central Catholic (13-5-5) at Berkeley Prep (18-4-2)
Another district final repeat, CCC is 0-2 against Berkeley Prep this season, including a 1-0 loss in the district final. The Marauders have yet to score on Berkeley Prep this season, though goals might be easier to come by as Bryane Heaberlin, the Buccaneers' outstanding goalkeeper, is at a U-17 national team competition and won't be available for the region semifinals. Two seasons ago, these teams met in the region semifinals, a game the Marauders won 1-0 on their way to the state semifinals. CCC is hoping history repeats itself.
Plant (21-1-1) at Palm Harbor University (19-0-1)
The most intriguing of the three region semifinals, the Plant-PHU matchup pits teams ranked at the top of their respective county's rankings all season by the Times. As far as playoff pedigree, the teams are polar opposites. The Hurricanes, the defending Class 5A state champion, are looking for their first title in Class 6A and have advanced to the region finals six of the past seven years. Plant, meanwhile was 0-12 in playoff performances coming into this year. Hard to believe that in the storied history of Plant athletics, the Panthers have never had a team win a playoff game until knocking off Countryside 1-0 in overtime in the region quarterfinals last week. Don't expect an onslaught of goals; both teams play outstanding defense and a score of 1-0 is highly likely.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer