RALEIGH - 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, which includes two schools from Onslow County, will start with the 4-A final on Saturday morning at 11:05, followed by the 1-A at 2:05 p.m. and the 3-A final at 5:05 p.m. The final game of the quadrupleheader will be the 2-A contest, starting at 8:05 p.m. This will be the 12th year for four separate classified championships.
All four of the games will be televised by Time Warner Cable and available on Carolina on Demand, digital channel 199 or 1047 on Time Warner systems across the state, within a couple of days after the championships.
Saturday's first game, the 4-A classification final, is a rematch of last year's championship match as Cary Green Hope (23-2) takes on Charlotte Myers Park (20-3). Green Hope took last year's title 2-1 in overtime.
Hussein Ali leads Myers Park, which is in its sixth state championship, with 24 goals, and the Mustangs have won their last three playoff matches by shutout. Green Hope is in the finals for the fourth time and the Falcons won their first state title last year.
The 1-A contest kicks off at 2:05 and sends Southwest Onslow (13-2-2) against Lake Norman Charter (19-3-1), two teams in the state final for the first time.
The Stallions of Southwest, with senior Nicholas Matics in goal, have yielded only 13 goals all season long. Senior Austin Tausch is the leading scorer with 24 goals. Lake Norman Charter has won eight straight since a loss to Gastonia Ashbrook and the Knights are led by Southern Piedmont Conference Player of the Year Taylor Easley.
Jacksonville (25-1) will tangle with Hickory (27-1) in the 5:05 p.m. game for the 3-A title. Jacksonville is an explosive squad, with the Cardinals outscoring their opposition a whopping 36-4 in the playoffs this season. Carlos Sevilla, who scored the only goal of the game in Hickory's regional win over Charlotte Catholic, leads Hickory and was the Northwestern Conference Player of the Year.
Both Jacksonville and Hickory are in the finals for the fourth time.
Cuthbertson (22-3-2) and Carrboro (18-6-3) will square off in the final game of the day, an 8:05 p.m. start for the 2-A title. The Cavaliers are in the finals for the first time, with senior Obi Collins and junior Evan Martinez leading the way.
Carrboro defeated Jordan-Matthews 2-1 on Wednesday night in the regional final to advance. Carrboro is back for the second straight year, having lost to Salisbury in last year's championship.
Thar Thwai is the Jaguar leader, as he was the Carolina 12 Player of the Year.
Tickets will be eight dollars at the gate. The Raleigh Sports Consortium serves as a host city sponsor for these championships, along with the city of Raleigh and the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors' Bureau.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2012 STATE MEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dail Soccer Field, North Carolina State University
Saturday, November 17
Class 4-A--11:05 am
Green Hope High School Falcons (23-2)
Myers Park High School Mustangs (20-3)
Class 1-A--2:05 pm
Southwest Onslow High School Stallions (13-2-2)
Lake Norman Charter High School Knights (19-3-1)
Class 3-A--5:05 pm
Jacksonville High School Cardinals (25-1)
Hickory High School Red Tornadoes (27-1)
Class 2-A--8:05 pm
Carrboro High School Jaguars (18-6-3)
Cuthbertson High School Cavaliers (22-3-2)