Girls soccer state tournament outlooks - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Girls soccer state tournament outlooks

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Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 2:00 pm

2011-2012 Girls Soccer State Tournaments

Division I

Wednesday's first round schedule

5 p.m.: No. 9 Boulder Creek vs. No. 8 Gilbert (at Hamilton H.S.); No. 12 Desert Vista vs. No. 5 Red Mountain (at Highland H.S.); No. 11 Centennial vs. No. 6 Millennium (at Pinnacle H.S.); No. 10 Chaparral vs. No. 7 Maryvale (at Xavier Prep).

7 p.m.: No. 16 Mountain View (Mesa) at No. 1 Hamilton; No. 13 Mountain View (Marana) at No. 4 Pinnacle; No. 14 Kofa at No. 3 Highland; No. 15 Trevor Browne at No. 2 Xavier.

Quarterfinals: Saturday at 2 p.m. at Nos. 1, 2, 3 or 4 seed or TBD

Semifinals: Thursday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Campo Verde H.S.

Championship: Saturday, Feb. 11 at 3:30 p.m. at Campo Verde H.S.

Favorite: Similar to the depth afforded in the Division I boys bracket, there's no shortage on the girls side either, but No. 2 Xavier remains the team to chase. The Gators are experienced-but-young, talented and have some unfinished items to attend after losing to Hamilton in last year's title game.

Contenders: No. 1 Hamilton, No. 3 Highland, No. 4 Pinnacle, No. 5 Red Mountain

Sleepers: No. 12 Desert Vista, No. 13 Mountain View (Marana)

Outlook: That list of contenders could keep going with an upset or two, but it's little coincidence that the schools are in the top 5-7 seeds. Hamilton's road to the semifinals obviously looks favorable as a No. 1 seed, but a good case to be made that No. 4 Pinnacle is better than its seed, and the Pioneers can beat anyone based on pure talent but their draw is difficult. Not to be boring, but hard not to envision a Hamilton-Pinnacle and Highland-Xavier in the semifinals. Watch out for Red Mountain, which has taken care of business all season but didn't get a top schedule, and No. 10 Chaparral was the only school to beat Xavier in a PP match (3-2 to end the regular season). Those two schools could meet again in the quarterfinals. No. 16 Mountain View got a rough draw having to start with Hamilton, which beat the Toros 5-0 to end the regular season, but kudos to Brian Ronan's Toros who (unofficially) have the best girls soccer regular season (13-7 overall) in school history.

Division II

Wednesday's first round schedule

3 p.m.: No. 10 Arcadia vs. No. 7 Queen Creek (at Campo Verde H.S.); No. 15 Sabino at No. 2 Flagstaff.

5 p.m.: No. 9 Thunderbird vs. No. 8 Notre Dame (at Cactus Shadows H.S.); No. 12 Sahuarita vs. No. 5 Apollo (at Raymond Kellis H.S.); No. 11 Sahuaro vs. No. 6 Ironwood Ridge (at Catalina Foothills H.S.).

7 p.m.: No. 16 Greenway at No. 1 Cactus Shadows; No. 13 Coconino at No. 4 Raymond Kellis; No. 14 Liberty at No. 3 Catalina Foothills.

Quarterfinals: Saturday at 2 p.m. at Nos. 1, 2, 3 or 4 seed or TBD

Semifinals: Thursday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.. at Paradise Valley H.S.

Championship: Saturday, Feb. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Campo Verde H.S.

Favorite: No. 3 Catalina Foothills

Contenders: No. 1 Cactus Shadows, No. 2 Flagstaff, No. 6 Ironwood Ridge

Sleepers: No. 7 Queen Creek, No. 8 Notre Dame

Outlook: Cactus Shadows continues to be a strong program under Jeff Vittorio, and the Falcons' difficult schedule (based on opponents wins) was the tipping point in grabbing the No. 1 seed. If the Falcons and Notre Dame should meet in the second round, remember that Cactus Shadows won both PP meetings (1-0 and 4-0) and the old adage about beating a team three times in a season. But the Tucson schools (especially Catalina Foothills and Ironwood Ridge) will give everyone a run for its money. The big "thumbs down" in this bracket is that those two schools have to play each other in the quarterfinals, way too early. Flagstaff is the defending champions from 4A-II, only lost to Notre Dame (1-0) and played Div. I-Hamilton to a tie in tournament play. No. 7 Queen Creek vs. No. 10 Arcadia is a great first-round match on the bottom part of the bracket, and whomever emerges into the semifinals from the bottom will have earned it.

Division III

Wednesday's first round schedule

1 p.m.: No. 12 Tanque Verde vs. No. 5 Mingus (at Flagstaff H.S.).

5 p.m.: No. 9 Safford vs. No. 8 Cortez (at Seton Catholic H.S.); No. 11 Douglas vs. No. 6 Higley (at Campo Verde H.S.); No. 10 Williams Field vs. No. 7 Estrella Foothills (at Verrado H.S.).

6 p.m.: No. 16 NW Christian at No. 1 Palo Verde.

7 p.m.: No. 13 Valley Christian at No. 4 Seton Catholic; No. 14 Fountain Hills at No. 3 Verrado.

Quarterfinals: Saturday at 2 p.m. at Nos. 1, 2, 3 or 4 seed or TBD

Semifinals: Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Arcadia H.S.

Championship: Friday, Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. at Campo Verde

Favorite: No. 1 Palo Verde

Contenders: No. 2 Campo Verde, No. 3 Verrado, No. 4 Seton Catholic

Sleepers: No. 5 Mingus, No. 6 Higley, No. 7 Estrella Foothills

Outlook: Similar to Div. I, the top five seeds in Div. III are pretty accurate when it comes to the cream of this group. A semifinals of Palo Verde vs. Seton (or Mingus) and Verrado vs. Campo Verde has pretty good odds. The shame is Seton and Mingus would face each other in the quarterfinals, as would Palo Verde and Cortez (which went 10-4 but played far and away the most difficult schedule in Div. III), as that could have been a nice semifinal matchup as well. Those who've played Campo Verde believe the Coyotes are a legitimate No. 2 seed, so ignore the part about them being a relatively new program.

 

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