Area soccer teams eye titles as state playoffs kick off
1. Will the Houston area get a state champion again this year?
Area teams fared well last year at state even though only one, The Woodlands girls, brought home a title. Kingwood Park and Strake Jesuit boys both lost in heartbreaking shootouts. This year, the area stands a good chance of sending several teams back to state for a chance at more hardware.
2. Will Region II send any teams to state this season?
Last year, four of the eight Class 5A teams at state were from the Houston area. This year, that will be tougher to come by. The Woodlands and Kingwood girls teams have what it takes, but with the additions of Austin Westlake and McKinney Boyd to Region II, it will be a tough road. The same goes for The Woodlands boys team, which is trying to make a return trip to Austin.
3. Which girls team will make it out of Region III?
Clear Lake, ranked No. 11 nationally, is the favorite, led by Brittney Wade. Seven Lakes, which is one of the top defensive teams in the area, is also nationally ranked at No. 29. Fort Bend Austin, Cy-Fair and Deer Park are all capable.
4. Which boys team will make it out of Region III?
Tomball and Klein Oak are the area favorites, but both are in Region II. In Region III, Strake Jesuit is looking to defend its title, but Elsik, North Shore, Pearland and Dobie have been impressive this season. District 23-5A leaders Kempner and Clements are also contenders.
5. Who are the teams to watch in Class 4A?
As always, both Friendswood squads are teams to beat. The boys are 21-1-5, and the girls are 20-4-2. From Houston ISD, the Lee and Scarborough boys teams should make a run. The Reagan girls are 12-1-1. The Stratford girls team is also one to keep an eye on. Despite losing coach Chris Matthews, who died in late January, the Spartans are 19-3.
Players to watch
Karla Pineda, Aldine
The forward has 50 goals and 13 assists this season.
Kaisa Marshall, Kingwood
With 25 goals and 11 assists, Marshall led the Mustangs to an undefeated record in District 14-5A.
Brittney Wade, Clear Lake
Wade led the Falcons with 32 goals and nine assists.
Tyler Pieper, Brenham
The senior has scored 29 goals and has 14 assists.
Conner Mowery, The Woodlands
The senior helped the Highlanders to last year’s state tourney.
Mario Rivera, Scarborough
Rivera led the Spartans to an 18-1-2 record with his 38 goals and three assists.
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