Friday, February 12, 2010

Preps: Gryphons, Wolves look to reach first state finals

It’s a big night for Sickles and Newsome as both schools try to advance to the state final four for the first time in either of the boys soccer programs histories.

Sickles is at home, where they have been dominant all season, to take on a surprising Seminole squad that upset East Lake 4-0 on Tuesday night. The Gryphons needed a penalty shootout to get past district rival Gaither, and will look to put in a more composed performance, getting into their passing rhythm better despite still being without key midfielder Michael Bazja, currently in Puerto Rico with the Region III Olympic Development Program.

Newsome, on the other hand, appears to have all of its mojo working as it hosts Auburndale. The Wolves pulled off a miraculous comeback against Plant City on Tuesday night, winning 4-3 in overtime after being down 3-1 with 20 minutes to go. At the center of the comeback was Steven Gonzalez, who now has hat tricks in his last two games. The Wolves will need to be at their best against the Bloodhounds, who despite only being a district runner-up are ranked No.46 in the ESPN Rise Fab 50. Their loss to Lakeland George Jenkins in the district final was the Bloodhounds first loss of the season, and they have had state title pedigree before, winning in 2005 and 2007.

For a look at Berkeley Prep, Tampa Prep and their opponents tonight, click here.

In Pasco county, Mitchell will face Celebration in the first region final in program history. The Tampa Tribune's Mike Camunas takes a look at the match-up here.

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