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State soccer: Three teams make postseason

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Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2012 11:00 am

The resumes for soccer teams were sent off and all that was left was an announcement as to what teams made the final cut.

Three local teams have continued on next to the playoffs.

The 14th-seeded Desert Vista boys play at No. 3 Gilbert on Tuesday in Division 1.

In the Division III boys tournament, Horizon Honors earned the 15th seed and will play at No. 2 Northwest Christian on Tuesday.

The Thunder girls are the 12th seed and face No. 5 Red Mountain at Highland on Wednesday.

The Mountain Pointe boys and the Horizon Honors girls were eliminated before last week's matches.

It left the Pride girls as the one team waiting to find out. They met Perry on Thursday night in the season finale, but losing the previous two games against Corona del Sol ended Mountain Pointe's chances.

The Division I 16-team boys tournament begins Tuesday at the better seed with the quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 4. The semifinals are Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Campo Verde High and the title game is Saturday, Feb. 11 at Campo Verde.

It's a much better schedule after last season's hiccup when coaches were upset that the first two rounds were played at neutral sites, taking away home field advantage for the top eight seeds deserved.

The Thunder boys should secure one of those home seeds, but coach Mike Rabasca isn't so sure it is going to matter much in a wide open tournament.

"This year's tournament will be very difficult," said Rabasca, who has won three state titles since 2002. "Not sure that seeding will matter a whole lot as each team that earns a spot into this year's playoffs seem to be well qualified."

Desert Vista entered this week's matches in a position to secure a home match but lost to Chandler twice to give them a tougher road.

"We are doing well," Rabasca said before the two defeats. "Chandler will be our toughest opponent since Corona."

The Division III boys tournament schedule is as follows: first round is Tuesday; quarterfinals are Saturday, Feb. 4; semifinals are Tuesday, Feb. 7 at Arcadia; and the finals are Friday, Feb. 10 at Campo Verde.

The Division I girls tournament is Wednesday, Feb. 1; Saturday, Feb. 4; Thursday, Feb. 9; and Saturday, Feb. 11 at Campo Verde.

The Thunder girls began the week at No. 14 before beating Chandler twice, winning 5-0 on Tuesday and 2-0 on Thursday. Desert Vista has been hurt by the opponent's victory points portion of the formula because teams like Mesa and Dobson won a combined three matches.

It will be first-year coach Marvin Hypolite's first run in the postseason after coaching mostly at the club level.

"I expect it to be a battle, definitely," he said. "There is going to be an increase in aggression. The girls have the experience and we should be up for it. Anything can happen in the playoffs and we expect to be well prepared."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN

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