AT STAKE: The top two in each district advance to the state playoffs, which begin with the region quarterfinals Feb. 5. The Class 5A, District 5 champion plays host to the 5A-6 runnerup, and the 5A-5 runnerup travels to the 5A-6 champion. The 4A-10 district shares a similar arrangement with 4A-9, and 3A-6 with 3A-5.
ADMISSION: $5; FHSAA passes only.
Class 5A, District 5
WHERE: Jim Valentine Stadium, River Ridge.
TEAMS: No. 1 Land O'Lakes (3-0-1), No. 2 Mitchell ( 2-1-1), No. 3 River Ridge (0-4).
SCHEDULE: Tuesday's semifinal _ No. 2 Mitchell vs. No. 3 River Ridge, 7 p.m.; Friday's final _ No. 1 Land O'Lakes vs. Mitchell-River Ridge winner, 7 p.m.
OUTLOOK: River Ridge got the short end of the stick, having to play host to the tournament and Pasco County's elite. Defending champion Land O'Lakes is tied for No. 6 with Hillsborough in the Class 5A poll. But the Gators have put that title behind them, hoping to write a chapter in these playoffs. Land O'Lakes and Mitchell tied at 1 in the first meeting at Mustang Stadium, and the Gators won the rematch 1-0 at home. Land O'Lakes maturity and ball-control mindset has neutralized the Mustangs' advantage in speed and athleticism in the first two meetings. Mitchell's Kate Slaughter has 33 goals and Lauren Schenk 31, but coach Karl Kukec wonders if his team has a confidence problem against Land O'Lakes. Remember the game that started it all: the Mustangs upset the Gators 1-0 in the 2003 regular-season finale, ending Land O'Lakes' nine-game win streak.
Class 4A, District 10
WHERE: Sponger Stadium, Tarpon Springs.
TEAMS: No. 1 Tarpon Springs ( 10-0), No. 2 Ridgewood (7-2-1), No. 3 Zephyrhills ( 6-3-1), No. 4 Wesley Chapel (3-6-1), No. 5 Hudson ( 2-5-3), No. 6 Gulf (0-10).
SCHEDULE: Monday's quarterfinals _ No. 4 Wesley Chapel vs. No. 5 Hudson, 6 p.m.; No. 3 Zephyrhills vs. No. 6 Gulf, 8 p.m. Wednesday's semifinals _ No. 2 Ridgewood vs. Gulf-Zephyrhills winner, 6 p.m.; No. 1 Tarpon Springs vs. Hudson-Wesley Chapel winner, 8 p.m. Friday's final _ 7 p.m.
OUTLOOK: A change in Ridgewood's alignment (coach John Herig won't tip his hand to say what he's changed) might give the Rams the offense they didn't have in two lopsided losses to the district's top seed. Tarpon Springs led 1-0 in the first meeting, then won 6-0. The second time, a 3-0 lead ended in a 6-0 rout. The Spongers reached the 2A semifinals last season and haven't slowed down this season, ripping through this Pasco County-dominated district. But the county has some hope. Zephyrhills' Allie Beasman, Terra Rosensweig and Shannon Mitchell can find the net. Ridgewood's defense is solid, thanks to captain and sweeper Tiffany Vega and first-year keeper Nicole Smith. The Rams are eying a return trip to the playoffs.
DIRECTIONS: Take Alt. 19 South to Martin Luther King Drive in downtown Tarpon Springs. Turn right and follow MLK to a lake. Turn left on Whitcomb Boulevard and follow the lake around to Gulf Road. The school is less than a mile down on the left side at 1411 Gulf Road.
Class 3A, District 6
WHERE: W.F. Edwards Stadium, Pasco.
TEAMS: No. 1 Pasco ( 7-0), No. 2 Hernando (6-2), No. 3 Wildwood (2-4-1), No. 4 Nature Coast (2-6), No. 5 South Sumter (1-6-1).
SCHEDULE: Monday's quarterfinal _ No. 4 Nature Coast vs. No. 5 South Sumter, 6 p.m. Wednesday's semifinals _ No. 2 Hernando vs. No. 3 Wildwood, 6 p.m.; No. 1 Pasco vs. Nature Coast-South Sumter winner, 8 p.m. Friday's final _ 7 p.m.
OUTLOOK: As the lone unbeaten team in the district, host Pasco is the favorite. That's why first-year coach Wardell Powell said his most daunting task at this week's practices was warning his players about overconfidence. The Pirates, coming off their first 14-win season, are 12-5-1 and could match that win total this week. Pasco's offense is paced by Jami Pass' school-record 37 goals. A formidable trio of forwards includes freshman Rosala Velasquez (15 goals) and Whitney Vance (7). Barring an upset, Pasco and Hernando should advance to the playoffs, with the Pirates headed to their second straight postseason appearance. Pasco lost the district title against Land O'Lakes last season before a region quarterfinal loss to Citrus. Fourteen wins, and then some, for the Pirates is not out of the question.
_ Compiled by Jamal Thalji and Steve Lee.