Boys soccer: Class 3A state final preview

Boys soccer state finals

All matches are at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand. Admission is $9 in advance, $12 on the day of the event. Parking is free.

Class 3A

Tampa Catholic (24-2) vs. Miami Westminster Christian (11-3-2), 7

How they got here: Tampa Catholic d. Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 4-0, d. Calvary Christian 3-3 (3-1 in PKs), d. Lakeland Christian 4-2, d. Jacksonville Bolles 8-1. Miami Westminster Christian d. Marathon 6-0, d. Ransom Everglades 3-2, d. Miami SLAM 1-1 (4-3 in PKs), d. Winter Park Trinity Prep 2-0.  

Top players: Tampa Catholic: F/D Marcello Valbuena, Sr. (34 goals, 4 assists); MF Esteban Vargas, Sr. (20 assists, 10 goals); F Sean Siwek, Sr., (15 assists, 14 goals); GK Eric Fidalgo, Jr. (101 saves, 7 shutouts). Miami Westminster Christian: D Jack Butler, Sr. (11 goals, 6 assists); D Munir Reyes, Sr., (8 assists); MF Matias Gutierrez, Sr. (9 goals, 8 assists). 

Outlook: The Crusaders are trying to win what has been an elusive state title. Four times Tampa Catholic has made it to the championship match (1989, 2000, 2016, 2020) only to fall short. This might be their best shot. The Crusaders are ranked first in 3A, fifth overall in the state and eighth nationally by MaxPreps.  They have rocketed up the rankings thanks to an offense that has scored a combined 19 goals in four playoff matches, including eight in the state semifinals against Jacksonville Bolles. Keeping up that pace against Miami Westminster Christian might be tough. The Warriors, ranked second in 3A and seventh overall in the state, have allowed a combined three goals in the last four matches. They also are trying to win their first state title.