Tuesday's best on the pitch

April 21, 2014 

Boys soccer

South Aiken at Dutch Fork

Surging Dutch Fork (13-6) has won nine in a row and is in control of its Region 5-4A destiny. The Silver Foxes are 3-2 in region matters, but will be the No. 1 state playoff seed from the conference if they win their final five conference matches starting with the seventh-ranked Thoroughbreds. South Aiken was a 4-1 winner on March 21 before DF got its act together.

Spring Valley at Irmo

Fourth-ranked Irmo (10-2-1) shares first place in Region 4-4A with Blythewood. The Yellow Jackets can’t take the third-place Vikings lightly, especially after escaping with a 1-0 decision in the first meeting on April 1.

Dreher at River Bluff

Before spring break, this was not a match that sparked much interest. Things have changed after Dreher (10-7) went 3-1 at the Palmetto Cup with wins over Class 4A Top 10 sides Blythewood and Lexington. The Blue Devils are still the underdogs against the Region 4-3A front-running Gators (13-3), but a win makes Dreher a factor in the Upper State playoff bracket. River Bluff has not played since April 10.

Girls soccer

Irmo at Spring Valley

The stretch run in the three-way race for the Region 4-4A championship begins with tonight’s key match. Irmo (8-7-1) comes out of spring break at 4-1 in the region, one-half game behind Blythewood (5-1) and one-half game ahead of Spring Valley (5-2). The host Vikings could not sieze command in the title chase on April 8, losing 1-0 to Blythewood. The Vikings must win to stay in contention. The Yellow Jackets must prevail to control their fate and set up an April 30 confrontation with Blythewood.

Dutch Fork at South Aiken

Dutch Fork, South Aiken and Lexington all enter the Region 5-4A stretch run with one region loss. One portion of the jam at the top of the standings will loosen Tuesday in Aiken. DF (11-2) has won seven in a row since dropping a 1-0 decision to the Thoroughbreds at home on March 21. SA (6-3-1) promptly lost sole possession of first place with a 2-0 loss to Lexington four days later.

River Bluff at Dreher

The host Blue Devils are ready for a defining three-game set in Region 4-3A. Dreher must sweep to catch Chapin for a share of the region title, beginning with a home match against scrappy first-year River Bluff. The Devils face archrival A.C. Flora on Saturday and close out the region campaign on May 2 at home against Chapin. Dreher was a 3-2 loser in the first meeting of the contenders.

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