By RODNEY PAGE
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 4, 2001
CLASS 4A, REGION 3
Fort Myers (22-2-3)
at Palm Harbor U. (24-2-2)
HOW THEY ADVANCED: PHU defeated Bloomingdale 2-1 in overtime in the 4A-7 final. Fort Myers lost 2-1 to Sarasota Riverview in the 4A-8 final.
THE SKINNY: PHU is a two-time state champion looking to win three in a row in three different classifications. It won an emotional district final but likely has plenty of firepower to get past this round.
East Lake (15-4-1) at King (17-3-2)
HOW THEY ADVANCED: King defeated Plant 5-2 in the 3A-10 final. East Lake lost to Land O'Lakes 3-0 in the 3A-9 final.
THE SKINNY: East Lake has quietly made noise all season. It has a good offense and defense, which should make for a competitive game against physical King.
HOW THEY ADVANCED: Seminole defeated St. Petersburg 2-1 in the 3A-11 final. Riverview lost 3-0 to Sarasota in the 3A-12 final.
THE SKINNY: Seminole is loaded with scorers, defenders and a good goalkeeper. Riverview was competitive against a very good Sarasota team, so this game will not be easy for the Warhawks.
HOW THEY ADVANCED: St. Petersburg lost to Seminole 2-1 in the 3A-11 final. Sarasota defeated Riverview 3-0 in the 3A-12 final.
THE SKINNY: St. Petersburg played draining district games against Largo and Seminole. Now comes an even stiffer test. St. Petersburg's defense, led by sweeper Brittney Lewis, must play well or this could be a long road trip.
Palmetto (14-5-1) at Lakewood (15-4-1)
HOW THEY ADVANCED: Lakewood defeated Tarpon Springs 3-2 in overtime in the 2A-11 final. Palmetto lost to Lakewood Ranch 2-1 in the 2A-12 final.
THE SKINNY: Lakewood has enough talent to go far, led by senior midfielder Lauri Tondreault. It is an experienced playoff team, and playing at home can only help.
Tarpon Springs (11-7) at Bradenton Lakewood Ranch (17-4)
HOW THEY ADVANCED: Tarpon Springs lost to Lakewood 3-2 in overtime in the 2A-11 final. Lakewood Ranch defeated Palmetto 2-1 in the 2A-12 final.
THE SKINNY: Lakewood Ranch has only two seniors. Tarpon Springs has experience, but playing on the road doesn't help.
Academy of the Holy Names (11-9-3) at Clearwater Central Catholic (20-2)
HOW THEY ADVANCED: AHN defeated Berkeley Prep 1-0 in the A-7 final. CCC defeated St. Petersburg Catholic 8-2 in the A-8 final.
THE SKINNY: CCC is loaded again and doesn't look to stop here. AHN might have a tough time against a team that has scored 97 goals in 22 games.
HOW THEY ADVANCED: SPC lost to CCC 8-2 in the A-8 final. Berkeley Prep won 1-0 over Academy of the Holy Names in the A-7 final.
THE SKINNY: Berkeley Prep won its third consecutive district title, but the Barons have played a competitive schedule. Look for SPC to stay close.
Wharton (10-4-3) at Countryside (13-8-3
HOW THEY ADVANCED: Countryside defeated Land O'Lakes 2-1 in the 3A-9 final. Wharton lost to Plant in the 3A-10 final 4-3.
THE SKINNY: Countryside was the No. 3 seed in the district tournament but knocked off River Ridge and top-seeded Land O'Lakes. Goalkeeper Bryan Linn has been steady, and scorers Brian Vroman and Colby Beckman have come through. Wharton is making its first regional appearance.
HOW THEY ADVANCED: Riverview lost to Brandon 2-1 in the 3A-12 final. Clearwater defeated Seminole 1-0 in the 3A-11 final.
THE SKINNY: Riverview is making its first regional appearance in its three-year history. Clearwater has won the district championship three consecutive seasons. Clearwater's offense is explosive, and its defenders are playing well.
HOW THEY ADVANCED: Brandon defeated Riverview 2-1 in the 3A-12 final. Seminole lost to Clearwater 1-0 in the 3A-11 final.
THE SKINNY: Seminole was frustrated by Clearwater's hounding defense in the district final, and Brandon plays much the same game. Scorers Brandon Giles, Steven Toccalino and Morgan Riley must be at the top of their games.
Bradenton Bayshore (16-6-2) at Osceola (17-3-2)
HOW THEY ADVANCED: Osceola defeated Lakewood 2-1 in the 2A-11 final. Bayshore lost 2-1 in overtime to Palmetto in the 2A-12 final.
THE SKINNY: Osceola has a knack of playing well at this time of year. Jason Zoffinger, Luis Nieto, Greg Serota and Ryan Spyker are offensive threats, and goalkeeper Kyle Craig is one of the best in the area.
HOW THEY ADVANCED: Lakewood lost to Osceola 2-1 in the 2A-11 final. Palmetto defeated Bradenton Bayshore 2-1 in overtime in the 2A-12 final.
THE SKINNY: Palmetto has played a competitive schedule and should not be taken lightly. Lakewood has played mistake-free most of the season but ran into a good Osceola defense Friday. If the Spartans can strike first, they have a good chance.
Berkeley Prep (7-14-2) at Clearwater Central Catholic (18-6-3)
HOW THEY ADVANCED: CCC defeated St. Petersburg Catholic 3-0 in the A-8 final. Berkeley Prep lost to Tampa Catholic 4-1 in the A-7 final.
THE SKINNY: This is not the time of year to play CCC. The Marauders are led by seniors Brett Wiard, Dave Miller and Chris Kein, although most of this team has plenty of playoff experience.
HOW THEY ADVANCED: St. Petersburg Catholic lost to Clearwater Central Catholic 3-0 in the A-8 final. Tampa Catholic defeated Berkeley Prep 4-1 in the A-8 final.
THE SKINNY: The Barons are in their second regional playoff in three years. They advanced to the state final in 1999. TC, a perennial power, appears to be down. -- *All games start at 7:30; admission is $5.