Girls soccer matches to see this week
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).
Basha at Gilbert: If not the best matchup in the SEV this week, it could be the biggest. Both schools need this one in a big way. Gilbert (No. 14 at 8-2-1) moved its way back into the playoff picture with four consecutive wins, and hasn’t allowed a goal in a power rankings match since a loss to Highland on Jan. 8. This will easily be the best opposition the Tigers have faced since then as well. Basha (No. 17 at 4-4-2) is in a bigger predicament with this match, then No. 2 Highland on Thursday to end the regular season. A pair of 1-0 losses (vs. Perry and Chandler) in power rankings matches have loomed frustratingly large for the Bears, so even if Basha can pull out a win here it’s far, far from certaintly it would get in unless it also upsets Highland. Need more drama here? Gilbert and Basha tied 2-2 on Jan. 4.
Cactus Shadows at Notre Dame: A 2-1 win against Notre Dame last week (the Falcons’ fourth consecutive win) vaulted Cactus Shadows to No. 15, with this rematch (Notre Dame is No. 10) and the finale at Anthem Boulder Creek (No. 7 in Div. I) on Thursday left to play. Obviously a sweep and the Falcons are not only in but move significantly up the seeding ladder. A split and the Falcons are still likely in. Two losses, despite the tough competition, might not be enough to stay alive.
Mesa at Corona del Sol: At No. 21 the Aztecs (6-3) must win both its remaining games, here and Thursday vs. Alhambra. Both games are certainly winnable, but with Mesa (No. 28) and Alhambra (No. 43) below them in the rankings, will two wins be enough to vault CDS up 5-6 spots?
Red Mountain at Skyline: Two wins this week here and vs. Westwood (Thursday), respectively, should get the Lions (No.13 at 7-2) into the postseason. Nothing here is a given, however, as Red Mtn. won the first matchup 2-0 against the Coyotes two weeks ago.
Williams Field at Queen Creek: Besides Cactus Shadows, Queen Creek is the other team right on the Div. II bubble at No. 15 (7-1), partially because the strength of schedule is pretty weak (-3.145) and partially because the Bulldogs have three matches this week to finish the regular season. Two vs. Combs (Tuesday and Thursday) should result in wins for QC, which leaves this one. How much QC moves (or doesn’t move) with beating Combs twice might determine whether this game makes the difference between getting in or not. Oh, and Williams Field is No. 13 in Div. III, and first must play at Chandler Prep (Tuesday 4 p.m.), which beat WF 3-2 in late November. So the Black Hawks could really use two wins here if they want to keep playing. The Black Hawks (Williams Field won this matchup, 2-1, at home on Jan. 16.
Valley Christian at Fountain Hills (3:30 p.m.); at Phoenix Country Day (Thursday): At 8-2-1, the Trojans are at No. 16 because of a weak strength of schedule rating, but that won’t last this week. Fountain Hills is No. 6 at 7-2-1 and Phoenix Country Day is No. 8 at 10-1. The obviously big question for the Trojans is whether a split of these matches (or maybe 0-2?) will be enough to get in. It’ll just have to play itself out because predictions in this case are too dependent on other teams’ results this week and what Fountain Hills (which plays No. 21 Saguaro on Tuesday) and Country Day win its other respective matches this week.
Mountain View at Hamilton: The Toros (No. 11 at 9-2) are in solid position to get in thanks to a big, 2-1 win against a good Campo Verde team last week. CV may be Div. II but it helped Mtn. View’s lagging stength of schedule number. Hamilton is No. 20 at 3-4-2 but still alive because of a whopping 8.369 strength of schedule (second to Basha in Div. I). The Huskies should top Casa Grande early this week, and if so, the question will be whether a win against Mtn. View (a big “if”) is enough of a “quality win” in strength points to move Hamilton into the No. 15 or 16 spot?
Xavier at Chaparral: Thought currently at No. 8 (6-1-2) in the rankings, Xavier could make a move into the No. 4 spot and a first-round home match if the Gators win all three games this week. With Horizon and Sandra Day O’Connor up first ahead of the Firebirds (No. 10 at 8-2-1), there’s a good chance at two more wins for Xavier. This match, however, not only ended in a 2-2 tie last week, but it will be the third match in three days for Xavier.
Mountain Pointe at Perry: If Perry (No. 12 at 7-2-1) can beat struggling Mesquite for a second time this season on Monday (12 p.m.), the Pumas might survive a loss here and still hang onto a playoff spot, although it’s a bit risky with .8 points currently separating Nos. 12 thorugh 15 in Div. I. The Pride (No. 22 at 5-3) is at No. 32 Glendale Ironwood on Tuesday, and the Pride have to win out these two matches to have any chance at postseason.