Four championships will be decided Saturday in the annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s state men’s soccer championships at Dail Soccer Field on the campus of North Carolina State University.
The championship weekend will start with the 4-A final on Saturday morning at 11:05, followed by the 2-A game at 2:05 p.m. and the 1-A final at 5:05 p.m. The final game of the quadrupleheader will be the 3-A contest, starting at 8:05 p.m. This will be the 15th year for four separate classified championships.
All four of the games will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and available on digital channel 323 on Time Warner systems across the state.
None of the eight schools in the finals were in the championships a year ago and only two have ever played for an NCHSAA soccer title.
The program opens with the 4-A game, in which Wilmington Laney (20-3-3) battles nationally ranked South Mecklenburg (22-0-2).
Laney, an eighth-seed in the Eastern bracket, knocked off cross-town rival New Hanover in the Eastern Regional final. The Bucs, who finished second in the Mideastern Conference, have gotten hot at the right time. Wesley Nelson was the conference Player of the Year and leads the team with 22 goals.
South Meck is in the NCHSAA finals for the first time since 1985 and are the highest scoring 4-A team in the state with 122 goals scored against just 12 allowed. Senior midfielder Marco Garcia leads the Sabres with 38 goals and 18 assists.
The 2-A final at 2:05 pm will send the Pam Pack of Washington (26-1) against Salisbury (26-0-2). Washington is in the finals for the first time ever while Salisbury seeks its third crown in the last five years at the 2-A level.
Washington is a veteran team with 10 seniors on the roster and Rob Zerniak has been an outstanding goal scorer during the postseason. Salisbury, which has won 12 consecutive conference championships, is led by Landon Goodman, a tremendous scoring threat with 66 goals.
The 5:05 pm contest for the 1-A title pits Franklin Academy (21-1-2) against Community School of Davidson (22-2-1), both making their initial visits to the NCHSAA men’s soccer finals.
Franklin Academy knocked off two-time defending state 1-A champion Wallace-Rose Hill 1-0 in the Eastern Regional final to advance, as senior Nick Hughes scored the only goal of the game, his 52nd of the season.
Community School of Davidson, which has won or shared the South Piedmont Athletic Conference championship each of the last four years, is led by the school’s all-time leading scorer Francisco Prado. Prado has 42 goals on the season and was the conference Player of the Year.
The final game of the day is for the 3-A championship sends the Yellow Jackets of Lee Senior (25-3-1) against Weddington (19-1-2), both in their first trips to the title match.
Payton Jackson paces Lee with 39 goals while Ivan Mireles has 19 and a team-high 24 assists. Weddington has a very balanced attack with five Warriors scoring 10 or more goals each.
Tickets will be eight dollars at the gate. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is the presenting sponsor for these championships, and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the city of Raleigh serve as primary host city sponsors.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2015 STATE MEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dail Soccer Field, North Carolina State University
Saturday, November 21
Class 4-A—11:05 am
E. A. Laney High School Buccaneers (20-3-3) vs. South Mecklenburg High School Sabres (22-0-2)
Class 2-A—2:05 pm
Washington High School Pam Pack (26-1) vs. Salisbury High School Hornets (26-0-2)
Class 1-A—5:05 pm
Franklin Academy Patriots (21-1-2) vs. Community School of Davidson Spartans (22-2-1)
Class 3-A—8:05 pm
Lee Senior High School Yellow Jackets (25-3-1) vs. Weddington High School Warriors (19-1-2)
Copyright 2015 WECT. All rights reserved.