Regional Soccer: Five boys, four girls Pensacola-area teams qualify for FHSAA State tournament
After the grueling test of districts, the field for the soccer state postseason is official set.
The Florida High School Athletic Association released the boys and girls playoff brackets across six classifications on Friday morning, with several local teams making the cut.
Nine total teams (five boys, four girls) from the Pensacola area have qualified for the chance to play for a state championship.
On the boys side, that list includes Booker T. Washington, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola, Tate and West Florida. Meanwhile, on the girls end, Gulf Breeze, Pace, Pensacola Catholic and West Florida each made it.
The brackets across all classifications feature four regions that each consist of eight teams per region. That group of eight includes four district champions and four at-large bids determined by FHSAA rankings. Each district champion will host a regional quarterfinal unless matched up against a higher-seeded district winner.
Five of the nine area playoff-bound teams will open regionals from home.
Following a run to their second-straight district title, the Gulf Breeze boys earned the third seed in Region 1-6A and will host No. 6 Fleming Island. Elsewhere in the region, No. 8 Tate will travel to No. 1 Chiles.
In Region 1-5A, No. 4 Booker T. Washington is host to No. 5 Menendez. Meanwhile, West Florida and Pensacola Catholic will take their acts on the road. The fifth-seeded Jaguars will take on No. 4 Yulee in Region 1-4A while fresh off back-to-back district titles, the No. 8 Crusaders travel to top-seeded Maclay.
On the girls side, Pensacola Catholic and West Florida each earned No. 4 seeds in their respective brackets. The Crusaders are host to No. 5 Maclay while the Jaguars welcome No. 5 Bishop Kenny to town.
The last quarterfinal is the only match pinning two teams against one another as No. 7 Pace plays at No. 2 Gulf Breeze in Region 1-6A. This will be the fourth meeting between the squads, with the previous three matchups going to the Dolphins. Gulf Breeze defeated the Patriots 3-0 in the District 1-6A Final.
Meanwhile, after finishing with a 13-4-1 record, the Escambia girls program was on the unfortunate side of the final rankings as it was first team on the outside looking in in Region 1-5A. The Gators entered districts ranked fourth in the region, but after losing as the No. 1 seed in their district to Fort Walton Beach in penalties, the Gators dipped to eighth with a rating of 5.469, just .267 points behind Clay for the final at-large bid.
Girls regional quarterfinals are slated for Tuesday while the boys will play the following day.
Patrick Bernadeau is a sports reporter for the Pensacola News Journal. He can be reached at (850) 503-3828, on Twitter @PatBernadeau or via email at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Soccer: Which Pensacola-area teams made the cut for the state postseason?