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Tim Stevens, J. Mike Blake, Clay Best, Aaron Moody, and Elliott Warnock follow all the news for high school athletes from Wake, Orange, Durham, Chatham and Johnston Counties. 

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Visualizing the new soccer playoff format

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To help you visualize what this year's soccer playoffs might look like, we redid last year's 4A East bracket with the new formula that was explained in today's N&O. The reason we didn't do more? The majority of teams in our coverage area fall into the 4A and because it is sort of pointless to do much more than that given how the conference have changed since last year. You will see teams on these projections that are now 3A.

4A East boys' soccer 2012, redone with new format

Highlights:

  • Green Hope vs Sanderson moves to the East final (5th round) instead of 3rd. The 3rd and 4th round games look like great contests, as well as a few of the 2nd round ones. It's safe to say this makes the playoffs more competitive in the latter rounds.
  • Southeast Guilford is more East than Richmond County, which means SEG is East and Richmond goes West.
  • Two first-round conference rematches. The old playoff system had zero most of the time, unless a wild-card matched up with a conference foe. Still, two out of 16 ain't bad if that ratio stays level throughout the state's 4A, 3A and 2A brackets. It will obviously be higher in 1A where they will have pods instead of just East/West divisions.

4A East girls' soccer 2013, redone with new format

Highlights:

  • Green Hope vs Millbrook is now an East final (5th round) instead of 3rd-round game. Which makes sense because hey, they were the two nationally-ranked teams.
  • You know how Cape Fear (9-12-1) made the playoffs last year because it got the 4th spot in the Mid-South? Pine Forest (8-7-4) finished 5th but got the wild-card spot. In the new system, because there are only three autobids, Cape Fear winds up without a bid because its overall winning percentage isn't good enough. It's also not as good as Pine Forest's, which gets a spot.
  • You know how Middle Creek (8-8-3) got shut out of the playoffs last year because it lost a tiebreaker with Apex (7-9-2) for the last automatic bid in the Tri-9? Middle Creek not only makes the playoffs here, but gets a higher seed than Apex. The top three are what you want to get now. If you're a wild-card, it's all about your overall record.
  • Hoke County (6-12-2) made last year's playoffs with an automatic bid but wouldn't get a wild-card spot in this one. If you're scoring at home, that's Hoke and Cape Fear out and Rose (8-10-2) and Middle Creek in.
  • Two first-round conference rematches. The old playoff system had zero most of the time, unless a wild-card matched up with a conference foe. Still, two out of 16 ain't bad if that ratio stays level throughout the state's 4A, 3A and 2A brackets. It will obviously be higher in 1A where they will have pods instead of just East/West divisions.

Here is what we put together to help you visualize.

4A East boys soccer

1. Sanderson (19-1-2) vs 32. Southeast Guilford (7-10-1)
16. Enloe (13-5-2) vs 17. Hoke County (14-7-1)

8. Apex (15-4-1) vs. 25. Clayton (12-9-2)
9. Jordan (15-4-3) vs. 24. Middle Creek (11-7-3)

4. Jack Britt (18-2-2) vs. 29. Leesville Road (11-9)
13. Lumberton (12-9-1) vs 20. Harnett Central (8-5-7)

5. Garner (15-2-1) vs. 28. Hoggard (10-8-1)
12. New Hanover (12-6-2) vs 21. Smithfield-Selma (13-6-2)

3. East Chapel Hill (14-1-2) vs 30. Northern Durham (10-11)
14. West Johnston (10-11) vs 19. Holly Springs (12-8)

6. Pinecrest (16-2-2) vs. 27. Millbrook (9-7-3)
11. Heritage (13-6) vs. 22. Athens Drive (12-7-4)

7. Ashley (15-3-1) vs. 26. Cape Fear (11-8-3)
10. Terry Sanford (12-4-1) vs. 23. Pine Forest (11-7-2)

2. Green Hope (18-2) vs No. 31 Riverside (8-10)
15. Laney (14-4-1) vs 18. South View (14-8)

Likely Second round
1. Sanderson (19-1-2) vs 16. Enloe (13-5-2)
8. Apex (15-4-1) vs. 9. Jordan (15-4-3)
13. Lumberton (12-9-1) vs. 29. Leesville Road (11-9)
12. New Hanover (12-6-2) vs. 28. Hoggard (10-8-1)
3. East Chapel Hill (14-1-2) vs 19. Holly Springs (12-8)
6. Pinecrest (16-2-2) vs 11. Heritage (13-6)
7. Ashley (15-3-1) vs. 10. Terry Sanford (12-4-1)
2. Green Hope (18-2) vs 15. Laney (14-4-1)

Likely Third round
1. Sanderson (19-1-2) vs 8. Apex (15-4-1)
12. New Hanover (12-6-2) vs 29. Leesville Road (11-9)
3. East Chapel Hill (14-1-2) vs 6. Pinecrest (16-2-2)
2. Green Hope (18-2) vs 7. Ashley (15-3-1)

Likely Fourth round
1. Sanderson (19-1-2) vs 12. New Hanover (12-6-2)
2. Green Hope (18-2) vs 3. East Chapel Hill (14-1-2)

Likely East final
1. Sanderson (19-1-2) vs 2. Green Hope (18-2)

4A East girls soccer

1. Green Hope (22-0) vs. 32. Apex (7-9-2)
16. Holly Springs (13-5-2) vs 17. Sanderson (12-5-2)

8. Panther Creek (13-3-1) vs 25. Riverside (8-7-1)
9. Leesville Road (15-4-1) vs 24. Clayton (10-8-1)

4. Jack Britt (18-3-2) vs 29. Wakefield (10-10) or Middle Creek or Broughton
13. Terry Sanford (14-7-1) vs 20. Scotland (9-10-3)

5. Pinecrest (14-2-3) vs 28. Broughton (9-9-1) or Wakefield or Middle Creek
12. New Hanover (11-5-2) vs 21. South View (8-11-4)

3. Millbrook (19-1-1) vs 30. Harnett Central (8-9)
14. Knightdale (11-8-1) vs 19. Garner (9-8-1)

6. Jordan (14-2-2) vs 27. Middle Creek (8-8-3) or Broughton or Wakefield
11. East Chapel Hill (12-4-4) vs 22. Laney (11-5-2)

7. Hoggard (16-5) vs 26. Pine Forest (8-7-4)
10. Lumberton (15-4-1) vs 23. Cary (10-6-2)

2. West Johnston (17-0-1) vs 31. JH Rose (8-10-2)
15. Northern Durham (13-4) vs 18. New Bern (10-6-1)

Likely 2nd round
1. Green Hope (22-0) vs 17. Sanderson (12-5-2)
8. Panther Creek (13-3-1) vs 9. Leesville Road (15-4-1)
13. Terry Sanford (14-7-1) vs 29. Wakefield (10-10)
5. Pinecrest (14-2-3) vs 12. New Hanover (11-5-2)
3. Millbrook (19-1-1) vs 14. Knightdale (11-8-1)
6. Jordan (14-2-2) vs 22. Laney (11-5-2) 667
7. Hoggard (16-5) vs 23. Cary (10-6-2)
2. West Johnston (17-0-1) vs 18. New Bern (10-6-1)

Likely 3rd round
1. Green Hope (22-0) vs 9. Leesville Road (15-4-1)
12. New Hanover (11-5-2) vs 29. Wakefield (10-10)
3. Millbrook (19-1-1) vs 6. Jordan (14-2-2)
7. Hoggard (16-5) vs 18. New Bern (10-6-1)

Likely 4th round
1. Green Hope (22-0) vs 12. New Hanover (11-5-2)
3. Millbrook (19-1-1) vs 18. New Bern (10-6-1)

Likely East final
1. Green Hope (22-0) vs 3. Millbrook (19-1-1)

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The 4A East boys' soccer

The 4A East boys' soccer 2012, was redone in a good format,Since 2012, the top five teams in each conference will qualify for the playoffs, in which the two brackets are entirely separate.

Not sure exactly what you're

Not sure exactly what you're saying here. Anything I can help you with?

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About the blogger

J. Mike Blake has been the Sports Editor for The Cary News and Southwest Wake News since October 2008. He holds two "unofficial" NCHSAA records in two different sports - highest career free throw percentage (2-of-2) in basketball and fewest career singles victories (zero. sigh.) for tennis.
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