High School Sports

Boys soccer | Palmetto, Saint Stephen's open districts as No. 1 seeds

MANATEE -- Last year's boys soccer district tournaments were the prelude to one program's stunning run to a state semifinal appearance.

While Saint Stephen's march to a final four berth was the Falcons' third since 2009, few could have anticipated Lakewood Ranch's improbable run.

The Mustangs were a battered bunch throughout the 2013-14 regular season, but found a healthy squad when the district slate rolled around. The Mustangs rode that renewed energy to gain the program's first state semifinal berth.

Here's a look at what lies in store for the Mustangs and other area teams.

Class 5A-District 8

Manatee is the No. 2 seed in a four-team district. All the Hurricanes need to do is knock off Riverview in a home match Wednesday to lock up a region quarterfinal berth.

Manatee hasn't won more than two region games since 1996 and was eliminated shy of the district final last winter.

The other two teams in the district are St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park.

St. Pete is the tournament's No. 1 seed and has beaten each district foe two times apiece.

The final is scheduled for Friday with the higher seed hosting.

Class 4A-District 11

This district features both East Manatee public schools in Braden River and Lake

wood Ranch.

The Pirates took down the Mustangs in their first regular season match of 2015. Braden River, hampered by injuries for most of the season, will look to go on a run similar to the one Lakewood Ranch pulled off last term.

As the No. 4 seed, the Pirates must get past Port Charlotte in the first round before a clash with top-seeded North Port in the semifinals.

The Mustangs battle Sarasota in the opening round. A victory for the No. 2-seeded Mustangs will likely net a rematch with No. 3-seeded Venice. The clubs played to a 1-1 draw to close out the district portion of their regular seasons.

Class 4A-District 10

Last season's early playoff exit was a shock to people within Palmetto's boys soccer program. The Tigers advanced easily through their district tournament before being eliminated in the region semifinals by district foe Seminole, which hadn't previously beaten Palmetto that season.

Should the Tigers meet Seminole in this year's 4A-10 district tournament, it wouldn't be until the championship.

Palmetto is the tourney's No. 1 seed and receives a first-round bye as part of the spoils of landing atop the league standings. All matches take place at Seminole.

Class 3A-District 9

Southeast and Bayshore are the two locals in this district, which features seven teams, including perennial state power Tampa Jesuit. The Seminoles went 5-1 during league play to lock up the No. 2 seed, while Bayshore (1-5 in district) has to get past Tampa Jefferson and top-seeded Jesuit in succession to qualify for the region tourney.

The Noles have the easier road and open against No. 7-seeded Tampa Middleton. All the matches take place at Tampa Jesuit.

Class 2A-District 11

This is a four-team district with the semifinals scheduled for Tuesday and the final on Friday. All the matches are at Cardinal Mooney. The Cougars are the No. 2 seed after a 4-2 record in district games. The No. 1 seed belongs to Arcadia DeSoto, which hasn't dropped a contest against district opponents. If the regular season outcomes play out, the Bulldogs and Mooney should meet for the title on Friday. The other two district programs, Booker and Sarasota Military Academy, have a combined 1-9-2 record in district games this season.

Class 1A-District 7

The soaring Saint Stephen's Falcons are the class of this district. The Falcons went unbeaten in district competition. They've been particularly dominant against league opponents, turning out mercy-rule victories to three of the other four district members.

The tightest games from district opponents have come from No. 2-seeded Sarasota Christian.

The tournament hosts played the Falcons to a 3-3 draw and lost 3-1.

Saint Stephen's also registered a 3-3 draw with Out-of-Door Academy, which holds the No. 3 seed and plays the Blazers in Wednesday's semifinal.

Bradenton Christian also is in the field and plays North Port's Imagine School in Tuesday's play-in match. The winner gets Saint Stephen's in Wednesday's other semifinal. The championship, held at Sarasota Christian's campus, is set for Friday.

BOYS SOCCER

District pairings

CLASS 5A-DISTRICT 8

All matches at 7 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday

(4) Pinellas Park at (1) St. Petersburg

(3) Sarasota Riverview at (2) Manatee

Final

Friday

Semifinal winners, higher seed hosts

CLASS 4A-DISTRICT 11

All matches at 7 p.m.

Quarterfinals

Monday

(5) Port Charlotte at (4) Braden River

(6) Punta Gorda Charlotte at (3) Venice

(7) Sarasota at (2) Lakewood Ranch

Semifinals

Wednesday

Port Charlotte-Braden River winner at (1) North Port

Charlotte-Venice winner vs. Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch winner, higher seed hosts

Final

Friday

Semifinal winners, higher seed hosts

CLASS 4A-DISTRICT 10

All matches at Seminole

Quarterfinals

Tuesday

(3) Seminole vs. (6) St. Petersburg Dixie Hollins, 6 p.m.

(4) Seminole Osceola vs. (5) Clearwater, 8 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday

Seminole-Dixie Hollins winner vs. St. Petersburg Northeast (2), 6 p.m.

Osceola-Clearwater winner vs. Palmetto (1), 8 p.m.

Final

Friday

Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 9

All matches at Tampa Jesuit

Quarterfinals

Tuesday

(2) Southeast vs. (7) Tampa Middleton, 4 p.m.

(4) Tampa Jefferson vs. (5) Bayshore, 6 p.m.

(3) Tampa Robinson vs. (6) Riverview Spoto, 8 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday

Robinson-Spoto winner vs. Middleton-Southeast winner, 6 p.m.*

Jefferson-Bayshore winner vs. (1) Tampa Jesuit, 8 p.m.*

*--If Southeast and Jefferson win Tuesday, Jefferson-Jesuit semifinal is at 6 p.m.

Final

Friday

Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

CLASS 2A-DISTRICT 11

All matches at Cardinal Mooney

Semifinals

Tuesday

(1) Arcadia DeSoto vs. (4) Sarasota Military Academy, 5 p.m.

(2) Cardinal Mooney vs. (3) Sarasota Booker, 7 p.m.

Final

Friday

Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 7

All matches at Sarasota Christian

Play-in match

Tuesday

(4) Bradenton Christian vs. (5) Imagine School of North Port, 7 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday

(3) Out-of-Door Academy at (2) Sarasota Christian, 5 p.m.

BCS-Imagine winner vs. (1) Saint Stephen's, 7 p.m.

Final

Friday

Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

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