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Weekend Watch: Five must-see matches

Each week during the high school season, ESPNHS highlights five weekend matches that have a compelling storyline or could have significant state, region and/or national implications.

This week, a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in California and a top 10 clash in Texas highlight the schedule.

Friday, March 9

No. 7 Coppell (Texas) vs. No. 8 Carroll (Southlake, Texas)

This match-up was shaping up as a blockbuster until Fossil Ridge (Texas) played spoiler this week, beating Coppell on Monday. Nonetheless, the winner between Carroll (20-2, 8-2) and Coppell (15-3-3, 7-2-1) will remain in the running for first place in District 7-5A with Fossil Ridge, while the loser could find itself in third place.

McIntosh (Peachtree City, Ga.) vs. Whitewater (Fayetteville, Ga.)

A pair of undefeated state-ranked teams in Georgia clash Friday night when McIntosh meets Whitewater in a pivotal spring season match. McIntosh enters the match at 4-0 and ranked No. 4 in the state by ESPNHS. Whitewater, the No. 6 team, has yet to allow a goal in its 3-0 start.

Grimsley (Greensboro, N.C.) vs. Page (Greensboro, N.C.)

This is the first meeting of the year between these storied Greensboro soccer programs. Grimsley, at 4-0 and ranked among the state’s top 4A programs by the coaches, is the favorite. Page, known more for recent boys’ soccer success, is 1-1. Grimsley has won the last five meetings between the programs.

Saturday, March 10

No. 1 Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) vs. No. 2 Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.)

It’s the 909 vs. the 949 showdown that everyone in Southern California has anticipated. Top-ranked Los Osos carries a 25-0-3 ranking into this meeting while No. 2 Aliso Niguel is 22-1-4, having avenged its lone defeat in the Southern Section final. The winner of this showdown will bring the POWERADE FAB 50 No. 1 ranking back to California for the first time since 2008 when Wilson (Long Beach, Calif.) was the last of four straight California champs. Aliso Niguel is a team built on depth and will run 20 players in and out of the match. The team’s defense is anchored by Oregon State signee and keeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme. Los Osos is powered by forward Ifeoma Onumonu, who has scored 28 goals this season.

No. 19 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) vs. Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.)

Santa Margarita and Bishop Amat were pushed to the limit in the semifinals, and now these Southern Section private schools meet for the Southern California Regional Division II final. Santa Margarita, a Southern Section Division 1 semifinalist, needed penalty kicks to get past St. Lucy’s (Glendora, Calif.) while Bishop Amat, the Southern Section Division 3 runner-up, scored in overtime to edge Cathedral Catholic (San Diego). This outcome could affect the Top 25 next week.