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Boys soccer matches to see this week

Posted by on January 20, 2013 – 6:08 pm

This is it.

The final regular season week of the soccer season begins in Monday, with all kinds of moves and shakeups expected in the final 4-5 days.

The last matches of  the season are Jan. 24 with the state tournaments beginning a few days later. The race is on for one of the top 16 spots in the power rankings.

(All records are power point matches as of Monday morning; All matches at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted).

Monday

Cactus Shadows at Notre Dame:  It’s the first of two big matchups between these Div. II schools this week, with the redux being played at Cactus Shadows on Tuesday. It’s part of three matches in three days for the Falcons (No. 5 at 8-2), with Shadow Mountain on Wed. to end the regular season. These are Notre Dame’s (No. 12 at 9-1) final two matches of the regular season, but while two losses to Cactus Shadows might led Notre Dame hang on to the top 16 because it will boost C.S. strength, the Saints need to win one to feel better about a playoff spot. Certainly another matchup could occur during the postseason.

Tuesday

Tempe at Arcadia; Seton Catholic at Tempe (Thursday):  Tempe (No. 21 at 8-2 in Div. II)  needs to win both matches to have a shot at a top-16 spot, but first thing’s first. The Buffaloes had little trouble with Arcadia (No. 28 at 6-5) two weeks ago in a 5-1 victory. A win here sets up a showdown with Seton (No. 8 at 8-2-1 in Div. III), the first meeting between these teams this season. Two wins for Tempe here puts the Buffaloes squarely on the bubble, almost too difficult to project whether they’ll make the top 16 or not.

Thursday

Hamilton at Mountain View:  Boosted in a huge way by consecutive one-goal victories against a solid Chandler squad last week (1-0 and 3-2), the defending Division I-champion Huskies are more firmly entrenced in the playoff picture at No. 11 (8-2) heading into Tuesday’s should-win match at Casa Grande. Mountain View (No. 28 at 6-5) is on the outside of the playoff picture despite three consecutive victories, mostly because the competition (Westwood twice and Skyline) didn’t help the Toros’ strength of schedule. Still, it’s a chance to play spoiler of sorts for MV and build something positive in a big way with a young Toros’ team heading into next season.

Corona del Sol at Mesa:  This comes on an obviously foolish assumption that Mesa (No. 19 at 6-3-1) gets past Westwood on Tuesday (Mesa won 2-0 early in the season). If so, the Jackrabbits have to win here to get into the playoffs, no ifs or buts about it. Hardly an easy task against an Aztecs team that has enjoyed a nice resurgence this year and is No. 4 at 8-2. Hard to gauge whether a Mesa win here gets the Jackrabbits into the playoffs, but the Jackrabbits will be watching a lot of West Valley and Metro schools results this week since six of those teams are ahead of them in the rankings.

Campo Verde at Williams Field:  Both teams appear headed for their respective playoffs (Campo Verde in Div. II and Williams Field in Div. III), but it’s still a terrific matchup to end the regular season. Williams Field is No. 3 at 10-0 in Div. III, and has played a couple tough matches this season, mostly in tournaments. But even with another matchup against Gilbert Christian on Tuesday, the Black Hawks might not have faced a team this good in Campo Verde (No. 10 at 8-1). This will be the third match in three days for Campo Verde, and though home mataches against Sunrise Mountain (Tuesday) and McClintock (Wednesday) pit them against two teams on the bottom of the rankings, a 3-0 week would vault the Coyotes into the top eight.

Phoenix Christian at Scottsdale Christian:   SCA (No. 5 at 10-1) has to beat feisty Scottsdale Prep (No. 22 at 6-5 with three matches to play this week) first on Tuesday, but if the Eagles get by it sets up a nice regular season showdown here. SCA beat PC, 1-0, last week, and PC (No. 11 at 8-2) could use a win here to earn a playoff spot.

Chandler Prep at Gilbert Christian:  At No. 17 (6-4) in Div. III, Gilbert Christian’s need to win here is obvious, especially since they’re pretty heavy underdogs against Williams Field when the two schools play Tuesday at Gilbert Christian (WF won 6-0 in the previous matchup).  Gilbert Christian won 3-1 early in the season against Chandler Prep (No. 19 at 7-4) which needs this match every bit as much as Gilbert Christian after playing Gilbert Classical Academy on Tuesday.

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