Irmo at Blythewood
Tuesday’s winner assumes sole possession of first place in Region 4-4A. Seventh-ranked Blythewood (11-2, 7-1) nipped the Yellow Jackets 2-1 in the first meeting on March 18 with the difference being a 4-3 PK shootout edge. The Bengals, however, slipped up a week later in a 2-1 loss to Spring Valley that created a tie for the top spot. Ninrh-ranked Irmo (10-8-1, 6-1) is 9-2-1 in its last 12 matches after starting the season in a 1-6 hole.
Lexington at Dutch Fork
It’s showdown time Thursday in Region 5-4A. Fifth-ranked Dutch Fork (14-2, 7-1) has won 10 in a row since opening the region campaign with a 1-0 loss to South Aiken. Along the way the Silver Foxes beat Lexington (2-0) on April 1 and avenged the loss to SA with a convincing 4-1 triumph in the rematch last week. Eighth-ranked Lexington stayed in the hunt with a 2-0 win last week over South Aiken that virtually assured the Wildcats of no worse than the region’s No. 2 state playoff seed.
Brookland-Cayce at Swansea
The Region 5-3A championship hangs in the balance in this Thursday match, as well. Third-ranked Swansea (14-3, 6-0) can end the suspense with another win over the Bearcats. The Tigers, who have won six in a row and 13 of their last 14, defeated B-C 3-1 in the first clash on April 8. The fourth-ranked Bearcats (13-5, 6-1) enter the week with a run of four straight wins and 10 of their last 12 on the books.
Chapin at Dreher
Two weeks ago, Friday’s match appeared to be the deciding factor in the Region 4-3A championship race. But Dreher’s two losses last week to River Bluff and A.C. Flora ruined that plan. Third-ranked Chapin (12-4, 9-1) may have the title already in the bag if it beats Camden on Tuesday. But the slumping Blue Devils (14-3, 8-3) need a win to stay in contention for second place and a home date in the approaching state playoffs.
Spring Valley at Richland Northeast
OK, it’s not a match with first-place implications, but Tuesday’s neighborhood rivalry clash does have some heat. Spring Valley (9-7, 5-4) is out to lock down the Region 4-4A No. 3 state playoff seed. RNE (5-9-1, 3-5) hopes to catch the Vikings if it wins its last two conference outings.
Dutch Fork at Lexington
Lexington’s Region 5-4A title hopes took a hit last week in a 2-1 loss to South Aiken. The seventh-ranked Wildcats (14-6-1, 5-2) must now be concerned about holding on to second place. Friday’s match is a chance for No. 11 Dutch Fork (14-7, 4-3) to pull even in the scramble for a first-round state playoff home game. Lexington was a 2-1 winner in the first meeting of the team this season on April 1. The Wildcats ended the Silver Foxes season in the Lower State championship match.