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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

State playoffs: New Hanover, Ashley, Hoggard soccer teams earn first-round home games

CHAPEL HILL — Local soccer teams learned their fate for the upcoming state playoffs on Thursday as the North Carolina High School Athletics Association released brackets in all four classifications moving into first-round action this weekend.

Coming off a 16-3-1 regular season as Mideastern Conference Champions, the New Hanover Wildcats top the list after receiving a No. 2 seed in the 4A tournament. The black and orange is led by seniors Declan Payne and goal keeper Roman Lewis. New Hanover is unbeaten in its last 11 matches, going 10-0-1 during the stretch.

Declan Payne.
Declan Payne.

Ashley rolled to a runner-up spot in the division and a home game to open the playoffs in a No. 7 versus No. 10 matchup against Riverside-Durham.

The Screaming Eagles closed the regular season 11-4-2 overall, conceding just 15 goals in 17 games played. Dom Toone and Josh Chapman provide Ashley consistent play up the middle.

The Screaming Eagles look to build off a strong fall, but in search of a postseason result after getting knocked out of the tournament in the second round last year.

The Vikings of John T. Hoggard will also get a first-round home contest as a No. 8 seed and bring a ton of talent to the pitch.

Their electric attackers in Andrew Robinson and Cesar Cruz present matchup problems for any team, but the Vikings need early confidence in the playoffs if they hope to make a run.

Rounding out the 4A selections, Laney received a No. 13 seed and travel to No. 4 Jordan on Saturday. The Bucs made a magical run to the state final in 2015 and like last year, the Bucs will need to do work on the road in order to keep their season alive.

All first-round action is scheduled to get underway on Saturday, Nov. 5. Due to playoff altercations, the first four rounds of states will be played over an eight day period, with second round action set for Tuesday, Nov. 8.

First-round playoff matchups

4A Tournament

  • No. 2 New Hanover (16-3-1) vs. No. 15 Fuquay-Varina (8-8-3)
  • No. 7 Ashley (11-4-2) vs. No. 10 Riverside-Durham (13-8-0)
  • No. 8 Hoggard (14-6-0) vs. No. 9 Middle Creek (13-7-1)
  • No. 13 Laney (11-8-2) at No. 4 Jordan (13-6-1)

3A Tournament

  • No. 5 Topsail (7-10) vs. No. 12 Eastern Alamance (9-7-1)

2A Tournament

  • No. 9 North Brunswick (11-7-3) at No. 8 East Bladen (14-5-1)

Click here for interactive brackets to this year’s state soccer playoffs.

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