1. TOP OF THE HEAP
No other Midlands program can match Brookland-Cayce’s record of success in the state playoffs. The Bearcats have won more playoff matches (38) and played in more postseason games (54) and state championship matches (3) than any other area program. Brookland-Cayce bagged a state title in 2005.
2. TIMES HAVE CHARGED
Richland Northeast was the first Midlands team to win a state championship, downing Hillcrest 2-0 for the 4A title in 2001. The Cavaliers remain the only Midlands team to claim a 4A championship, but RNE hasn’t made the playoffs since 2008.
3. THE OTHER CHAMPION
The only Midlands team other than B-C and RNE to win a state championship is Dreher, which secured the 3A title in 2002 under coach Erik Norton.
4. TOURNAMENT CAPITAL
Columbia has become the prep girls soccer tournament capital of the state. Spring Valley started it with the preseason Taco Bell Viking Cup that has become the elite gathering in South Carolina. Airport’s Lady Eagle Classic (March 22-23) and Brookland-Cayce’s Lady Bearcat Invitational (April 12-13) also are part of the spring scene.
5. TO TURF
OR NOT TO TURF
Will the addition of Field Turf to the football stadiums at Chapin, Dutch Fork and Irmo have any effect on how soccer is played there? This is the first time soccer will be played on artificial surface in the Midlands, though reportedly plans are in the works for Field Turf to be installed at Airport and the proposed new stadium at Brookland-Cayce.
6. COACHING MILESTONE
Dreher coach David Kleinfelder, who has been coaching high school soccer in South Carolina since 1978, notched his 400th career win when his Blue Devils whipped Sumter 7-0 on March 2 on the way to the championship of his team’s own preseason tournament.
7. STRONG IN GOAL
Senior keeper Lauren Killian, a 2012 all-state pick who has signed to play at College of Charleston, leads Blythewood this season. The eighth-ranked Bengals are 5-1. Blythewood has never won an outright region championship at the 4A level or made it as far as the fourth round of the state playoffs.
8. SILVER FOXES TALENT
Dutch Fork, ranked No. 10 in 4A in the preseason coaches’ poll, got off to a good start at the Taco Bell Viking Cup, advancing to the tournament semifinals before a sudden-death overtime loss to Academic Magnet. The Silver Foxes, led by college-bound seniors Hannah Martin (Lander) and Erin Morabito (Queens), look to challenge South Aiken for the Region 5-4A championship.
GO FOR THREE-PEAT
Officially, Cardinal Newman won four matches last season, but the Cardinals did claim their second straight SCISA Class 3A championship. The use of an ineligible player compelled CN to forfeit all but one of its regular season matches, but Augusta Christian declined a postseason invitation created by the forfeits to allow the Cardinals to enter the playoffs as a No. 4 seed. Three wins later, Cardinal Newman had the title. Junior Ashley Brown is one of the top returning players.
HAVE GAME, TOO
Heathwood Hall looks to give Cardinal Newman a run in SCISA Region 1-3A behind Grace Smith and Kelly Turbeville, who recently signed to play at William & Mary and Brevard, respectively.