With the NCS soccer finals happening this weekend and the semi-finals taking place Wednesday, here's a look at how the final teams are looking headed into their big games.
Starting with the division one boy's bracket, the first game is between No. 1 De La Salle and No. 12 Freedom. The Spartans are the four time defending champs, and have plenty of experience on their side. They will face a Freedom team who has nothing to lose and look forward to the idea of beating top ranked De La Salle. Both squads feature some of the best goalies in the East Bay. Scoring on either of these two goal keepers will prove to be a challenge, though Freedom has one of the best forward's Jorge Cendejas.
The other division one match-up is between No. 6 San Ramon Valley and No. 7 California. These teams have played twice this season, splitting the season series. The Grizzlies started the season off 15-0-2 but then lost four in a row. They have since rebounded and have a healthy team, looking to win it all. However, the Grizzlies will have their hands full with No. 6 San Ramon Valley. Although the Wolves are the six seed they are one of the toughest teams to play. The Wolves depth is hard to match and their forwards tend to be a problem for most defenses to handle. Both teams will have their hands full the entire game.
Time to analyze division two boy's soccer. The first game we will look at is No. 4 Concord vs No. 8 St. Mary's. This is the second year in a row that Concord has made it to the semi-final game. The Minutemen have not allowed a goal in the playoffs and have a great keeper Emmanuel Jimenez. They are mainly a defensive squad and will depend on Andy Altamarino and Freddy Velasquez to lead them to victory. On the other side, St. Mary's is coming into the game after upsetting the No. 1 Acalanes. St. Mary's is also known for their good defense, but overall have a very dynamic squad. This game will be a defensive battle until the end.
The other division two game is between No. 2 Ygnacio Valley and No. 3 Campolindo. Ygnacio Valley finished the season slow but has since turned it around in the playoffs. YV will need to take advantage of the home-field advantage because Campolindo has hit a hot streak in the last six weeks. Campolindo is a strong scoring team with eighteen players scoring goals this season. In the very last playoff game, four different players scored. Both squads have very similar playing styles and will need their whole team to step up to the challenge.
Lot's of great teams and games this week! Don't forget to tune into Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area tonight at 4 p.m. And throughout the week on Comcast SportsNet California.