Ridaught: Futbol postseason begins this week

P.K. Yonge sophomore Faith Hardy has 26 goals
P.K. Yonge sophomore Faith Hardy has 26 goals for the Lady Blue Wave, who earned the No. 1 seed in 3A-Region 1 and will host this week's District 4 tournament. (File photo by C.J. Gish)
File photo by C.J. Gish

This is a big week for both football, and futbol.

All week Mainstreet Daily News is releasing its Bosshardt Realty All Area football teams, beginning with the small school offense today

The small school defensive team will be released on Tuesday, followed by big school offense on Wednesday and big school defense on Thursday, and our coaches of the year on Friday.

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But there’s another football, or futbol, coming this week.

The regular season has ended for girls and boys soccer, with district tournament action taking place this week and next.

The top girls program in the area is P.K. Yonge (10-4-1), which earned the top overall seed in their region (3A-1).

“Overall, our season has been amazing,” said P.K. Yonge coach Rebecca Schackow. “As coach, I have been blown away by the energy and hunger to compete that my players have maintained and increased with each week. They fuel me and bring out the best in the entire program.”

The Lady Blue Wave were also the top seed in their region last year but were edged, 3-2, by No. 6 seed Providence (Jacksonville), denying P.K. Yonge a spot in the state semifinals.

P.K. Yonge, which is hosting the 3A-District 4 tournament, will receive a bye as the No. 1 seed and will play on Friday at 7 p.m. against the winner of No. 4 seed Newberry vs. No. 5 Trinity Catholic (Ocala), who begin tournament play at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

“We have more time to prepare,” Schackow said. “We also get to see our opponents play before we have to play them. There are so many advantages to this seeding and we are thrilled with the news and will celebrate at practice today.”

The Lady Blue Wave have a chance to make it to the state semifinals thanks to the return of sophomore Faith Hardy, who had 34 goals as a freshman.

“Faith is a dedicated, committed, and selfless player,” Schackow said. “My coaching staff is so pleased with all of the ways Faith has improved this year as a player and teammate. She works hard behind the scenes to get faster and stronger. She works hard at our training sessions to make the most of our time together as a team.”

Her presence opens things up for her teammates too.

“She has created more scoring opportunities for her teammates this year with her selfless play,” Schackow said. “She is more strategic and creative in her decision making this season and she is stronger and smarter on and off the ball this season. I am so proud of her commitment to being the best she can be for the good of our team. She encourages and cares for her relationships on the team and she is a friend to all and a loyal and proud teammate.”

After last year’s ending, the Lady Blue Wave will be motivated and won’t take any opponent lightly.

“We will face so many talented teams in the postseason,” Schackow said. “The key to making a lengthy postseason run will be our ability to work together, believe in and play to our strengths, and play selflessly. If we do those things, we will get the farthest possible and be proud of where we end up.”

Here is a list of this week’s girls soccer district tournament brackets for all classifications.

On the boys side, Gainesville High finished undefeated following a 4-1 win in overtime on Friday night against rival Buchholz to win the Alachua County Cup.

Head coach Basil Benjamin and the Hurricanes (12-0-1) secured the No. 1 seed in 6A-Region 1, and the upcoming 6A-District 4 tournament.

GHS earned a bye and will host either No. 4 seed Springstead (Spring Hill) or No. 5 seed Lake Minneola in the district semifinals on Saturday at 7 p.m.

It’s possible they could see No. 2 seed Buchholz (7-3-3) again, in the district title game next Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m.

“All of our losses have come in January when we were missing two or three starting players due to injury our illness,” said Buchholz coach Phillip Journey. “We are a young squad and depend heavily on our older experienced players, and if they can’t play it becomes difficult.”

The Bobcats, who will host either No. 3 seed Forest (Ocala) or No. 6 seed South Lake (Groveland) in the other district semifinal on Saturday night at 7 p.m., must win the district to qualify for the postseason due to the strength of Region 1.

Reed Rousseau, who was a kicker for the Buchholz football team, leads the team with seven goals in seven games.

“Reed is one of my senior forwards that I depend on to come through with big plays in games, like his cross to Luke Smith who then headed the ball in the back of the net in the final minutes, just after Gainesville had scored the first goal with four minutes left in the game,” Journey said.

GHS, which is ranked No. 17 in the country by MaxPreps, is the No. 4 overall team in the FHSAA’s state rankings.

Last year, GHS advanced to the 5A Region 2 Final before falling to River Ridge (New Port Richey), 2-1.

Here is a list of this week’s boys soccer district tournament brackets for all classifications.

Regional play begins on Tuesday, Feb. 7, for the girls, and on Wednesday, Feb. 8, for boys. 

The high school soccer state championships will be held Wednesday through Saturday, February 22 to 25, at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand.

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