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CARY—Four championships will be up for grabs on Saturday in the annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s state men’s soccer championships.
The games will be played at the SAS Soccer Park in Cary. The first three games will be played on field number two at the complex and the final game will be on field number one.
Two of the Western Regional finals games could not be played on Wednesday due to inclement weather and were played Thursday evening. Mount Pleasant beat Brevard 2-1 in the 2-A match while Lake Norman downed Asheville T.C. Roberson 4-1 in 3-A action to advance to the finals.
A full day of title matches will begin with a ten o’clock Saturday morning kickoff as Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (25-2) takes unbeaten Mount Pleasant (24-0) in the 2-A final. The Crusaders are led by sophomore forward Seph Babbington’s 26 goals and are riding an 18-match winning streak.
Mount Pleasant enters the final unbeaten in 24 starts, the first unbeaten team in school history. Tyler Senecal has 28 goals and 15 assists for Mount Pleasant.
The 3-A game at 1 p.m. sends another defending state champ, the Cardinals of Jacksonville (17-8-1), against the Western winner, either Asheville T.C. Roberson or unbeaten Lake Norman (26-0). Jacksonville beat Mooresville 2-0 for the 3-A title in 2005 and captured a 1-0 overtime victory Wednesday night against Western Guilford on a diving header goal by Adam Cunningham. Tyler Sosa leads the Cardinals in scoring with 12 goals and eight assists.
Lake Norman has tallied 114 goals on the season, led by Allen Lomax with 22 goals, while yielding only nine. Beck Williams has added 16 goals for the WIldcats.
The 1-A championship at 4 p.m. will feature Dixon (13-5-2) against Polk County (21-4-1), a rematch of the ’03 1-A final which Polk captured 2-1. Polk, seeking its third men’s soccer state crown, is paced by Josh Trejo, who has six multi-goal games, and goalkeeper Drew Millard with 12 shutouts. Dixon, which beat the North Carolina School for Science and Math in overtime in the regional finals, is a veteran team with excellent balance led by Sean Oliveira.
The final match on Saturday will be for the 4-A championship, as Raleigh Broughton (25-1) collides with unbeaten North Mecklenburg (22-0).
North lost in the state finals a year ago to Apex by a 2-1 count and is in the championship match for the third time in nine years. Drew Toler paces the Vikings with 35 goals and 10 assists, and North also gets excellent goaltending from Alex Moreno. North has shut out 17 of its 22 opponents on the year.
Broughton, a perennial women’s soccer power, is in the men’s finals for the first time and enters the championship with a 20-match winning streak. A rock-solid defense has been one of the keys to the Caps’ success this year.
Tickets will be eight dollars at the gate. Wendy’s and the Carolina Ford Dealers are the presenting sponsors of the NCHSAA sports program, and the Raleigh Sports Consortium serves as a host city sponsor along with the city of Raleigh and the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2006 STATE MEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
SAS Soccer Park, Cary
Saturday, November 18, 2006
CLASS 2-A: Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (25-2) vs. Mount Pleasant (24-0), 10 a.m.
CLASS 3-A: Jacksonville (17-8-1) vs. Lake Norman (26-0), 1 p.m.
CLASS 1-A: Dixon (13-5-2) vs. Polk County (21-4-1), 4 p.m.
CLASS 4-A: Raleigh Broughton (25-1) vs. North Mecklenburg (22-0), 7 p.m.