After years of having a Champions League boys soccer tournament, the area girls teams are holding one for the first time.
The bay area version of the Champions League is based on the popular tournament for professional club teams in Europe. The local event features the top high school girls soccer teams from the Tampa Bay area in a tournament at the start of the season.
The semifinals are Saturday at Wiregrass Ranch. The final is the same night at Saint Leo University.
Here is the outlook for the two semifinal matches.
Tampa Catholic (7-0) vs. Durant (12-0), 9 a.m.
An elite between undefeated teams that are each ranked among the top 20 overall in the state and the top 30 nationally by MaxPreps.
The Crusaders, ranked No. 3 in Class 3A, No. 9 overall in the state and No. 14 nationally, have won five of their first seven matches by two or more goals.
The Cougars are just as formidable. They are ranked No. 4 in Class 7A, No. 17 overall in the state and No. 27 nationally. Ten of their wins have been decided by two or more goals.
Expect a tight, low-scoring contest. Each team has allowed just four goals all season.
|Goals||Isabella Murphy, 9||Mykala Ulrich, 9|
|Assists||Jocelyn Chinea, 4||Addison Kapustiak, 8|
|Goals against average||Emma Schweitzer, 0.571||Taylor Crone, 0|
Land O’ Lakes (5-0-2) vs. Palm Harbor University (9-0), 11 a.m.
The unbeaten teams are each ranked among the top five in their respective classification and the top 30 overall in the state by MaxPreps.
The Gators, ranked No. 5 in Class 6A and No. 28 overall in the state, rallied from a 2-0 first half deficit to beat Lecanto 3-2 and tied rival Sunlake 4-4 earlier this week to keep their unbeaten streak intact.
Though Land O’ Lakes has averaged three or more goals in its last three matches, maintaining that production against the Hurricanes could be difficult.
Palm Harbor University posted shutouts in five of their its six matches and have allowed just three goals all season. That’s a big reason the Hurricanes are ranked No. 13 overall in the state and No. 19 nationally.
|Category||Land O’ Lakes|
|Jordyn Keene, 9||Kassie Fragale, 9|
|Wesley Craven, 5||Morgan Little, 4|
|Caidee Sumner, 0||Keely Cash, 0.176|