Girls high school soccer: 4 local teams eye championship games

The girls high school soccer playoffs begin Tuesday night. (News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Spots in the girls high school soccer state championship games are on the line when teams take the pitch on Friday night. All games at 7 p.m. unless indicated.

State semifinals

Class 7A

Palm Harbor University (20-1) at Creekside (17-3-1), 6 p.m.

Road here: Palm Harbor d. Venice, 3-1; d. Lakewood Ranch, 1-0; d. Newsome, 1-0; Creekside d. Boone, 3-0; d. Bartram Trail, 3-2; d. Lake Brantley, 4-2.

Winner gets: Boca Raton or Cypress Bay in the in the state championship game at 4:05 p.m. on Feb. 25 at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand.

Glance: The Knights are in the state semifinals for the third time in program history. They’ve gone 1-1 in their previous trips, winning in 2017 and losing in 2020. Creekside has already had a superb postseason, headlined by a win over rival, MaxPreps’ No. 1 team in the country and two-time defending state champion Bartram Trail. Can the Knights knock down another giant? Palm Harbor is a perennial state title contender. It is tied for fifth in state history with six championships, its last coming in 2019. Jianna Ramirez and Paige McSwigan scored the goals for Creekside in the regional final.

Class 6A

Viera (13-3) at Fletcher (16-5-2)

Road here: Viera d. Melbourne, 3-2; d. George Jenkins, 2-1; d. Martin County, 1-0; Fletcher d. Navarre, 3-0; d. Gainesville Buchholz, 4-0; d. Fleming Island, 2-1.

Winner gets: Lourdes Academy or Land O’ Lakes in the state championship game at 1:05 p.m. on Feb. 25 at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand.

Glance: Only two Gateway Conference programs have ever played for state championships, the Senators in 1998 and Stanton in 2017. Getting past this stage would be a significant achievement for Fletcher. The Senators were last here in 2002 when they lost 3-1 to St. Thomas Aquinas. They roared back in the second half to beat Fleming Island in the regional final. Josey Rossignol tied things late in regulation and Sawyer Reynolds gave Fletcher the winner in OT.

Class 3A

Providence (12-3-2) at Lakeland Christian (20-2-3)

Road here: Providence d. Maclay 1-1 (4-3 in PKs); d. Episcopal, 3-1; d. P.K. Yonge, 3-2; Lakeland Christian d. Trinity Prep, 4-0; d. Berkeley Prep 0-0 (5-3 in PKs); d. Tampa Catholic, 1-0.

Winner gets: Benjamin or North Broward Prep in the state championship game at 1:05 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand.

Glance: It has been a dream season for the Stallions and first-year head coach Rylie Hirst. Can Providence keep the train on the tracks for another match? The Stallions played very well against a high-powered P.K. Yonge team (the Blue Wave had outscored its last four opponents 22-2). Marisa Dill is Providence’s top player. She had two first-half goals against P.K. Yonge and the offense runs through her. Lakeland Christian has one state championship on its resume, but has been state runner-up five times.

Class 2A

Westminster Academy (10-8-2) at St. Johns Country Day (17-3-1), 6 p.m.

Road here: Westminster d. David Posnack Jewish Day, 6-1; d. True North Classic, 4-3; d. South Florida HEAT, 2-1; St. Johns CD d. Saint Francis Catholic, 8-0; d. St. Joseph, 8-0; d. Christ’s Church, 8-0.

Winner gets: Shorecrest Prep or Geneva in the state championship game at 7:05 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand.

Glance: The march of the dynasty continues for the Spartans. St. Johns has won 10 consecutive state championships, a state record, and has shown no signs of slowing down. The Spartans have allowed nine goals all season and have shredded their first three playoff opponents 24-0. Lauryn Mateo is the headliner of the attack, but St. Johns is so deep that the assault can come from anywhere. Julia Boaventura, Hannah Lemieux and Sophia Pontieri follow Mateo in offense.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.