The Hurricane Watch tournament is exactly what the Palm Harbor University boys soccer team envisioned when it was put together months ago: a tough one.
Of the six teams in the tournament, three were in the playoffs last year, including Class 4A defending state champion Mitchell and 6A state finalist PHU.
The other playoff team, Countryside, might be considered the favorite. The Cougars, who are 14-1-1 and nationally ranked, have beaten the Hurricanes twice this season.
"It's a really good tournament with great competition," PHU coach Alex Delgado said. "We've had this tournament late in the season for a while to get ready for the conference game and district tournaments."
The event's schedule: Countryside vs. Dunedin (6 p.m.) and Mitchell vs. Lakewood (8) on Monday; Countryside vs. St. Petersburg (6) and PHU vs. Lakewood (8) on Tuesday; Dunedin vs. St. Petersburg (6) and PHU vs. Mitchell (8) on Wednesday. The third-place game is at 6 on Friday, with the championship at 8.
A break for CCC: Clearwater Central Catholic's girls tied district foe Berkeley Prep on Wednesday, a disappointing outcome considering how many veterans the Marauders (12-0-1) have and how well they have been playing.
The teams could meet in the district final and again in a region semifinal.
If that happens, CCC will face a Buccaneers team that will be without All-America junior goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin, who broke the fibula and tibia in her right leg while making a late save against the Marauders. Heaberlin, who lives in St. Petersburg, was scheduled to have surgery Friday at Bayfront Medical Center.
"It was one of those bang-bang plays," Berkeley Prep coach Ken Roberts said. "I've seen her make saves like that hundreds of times and seen her come up every time. There was no discoloration or anything. She's such a strong kid, too. The contact had to have happened in just the right spot."
Heaberlin, 17, is one of the top high school goalkeepers in the nation. She was a Parade All-American last season and the youngest player on the U.S. Under-20 World Cup team during the summer in Germany.
Head scratcher: In the latest ESPN Rise national boys rankings, Palm Harbor University is 29th and Countryside 47th. That is odd considering the Cougars have a better record and won both meetings this season.
In the girls rankings, CCC is 39th and Seminole 45th. CCC beat Seminole 2-1 on Friday.
Odds and ends: Seminole's Gina Hayduke has 23 goals this season. … Before a 4-1 win over Clearwater on Jan. 5, the Warhawks girls had recorded nine straight shutouts.
Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this report.