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Weekend Watch: Five must-see matches

Evansville Memorial and Carmel square off in a semi-state battle of undefeated teams on Saturday. Sheldon Shealer/ESPNHS

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

This week, the Indiana semi-state playoffs take center stage with a pair of matches featuring the last four undefeated teams in the state. By Saturday night, Indiana could have as many as two or as few as no undefeated teams remaining.

Friday, Oct. 21

No. 23 Viewmont (Bountiful, Utah) vs. No. 24 Alta (Sandy, Utah): This Class 5A state final meeting has been in the works since early in the season when Viewmont edged Alta, 3-2. Both teams were projected as state title contenders and never disappointed as both teams carry 18-1 records into this match-up. Alta features the Class 5A state-leading scorer in Michele Murphy (37 goals) and Arizona commit Lexi Selman (22 goals). Viewmont counters with a pair of high-scoring players as well: Ali Forsberg (28 goals) and Lizzy Rasmussen (20 goals). Following Alta’s 3-2 loss to Viewmont, Alta then went on a state-record 12-match shutout streak. Alta has won 16 straight contests – 15 by shutout -- heading into the final.

Absegami (Galloway, N.J.) vs. Gloucester Catholic (Gloucester City, N.J.): Absegami spent time in the POWERADE FAB 50 early in the season and sports a healthy 13-1 record. Gloucester Catholic is a one-time state power that is setting at 9-1-2 this season. Although the match does not include any FAB 50 teams, it could help sort out any debate between some of the private and public school programs later this season.

Bishop Feehan (Attleboro, Mass.) vs. Notre Dame (Hingham, Mass.): There was once a day when Notre Dame was a FAB 50 fixture, but those days have long passed. However, the team remains atop the Catholic Conference in the Boston area and could pose a challenge to a Bishop Feehan squad that is playing its third match in four days.

Saturday, Oct. 22

No. 2 Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) vs. No. 6 Reitz Memorial (Evansville, Ind.): Two of the state’s storied soccer programs take undefeated records into their Class AA semi-state clash Saturday morning. The loser will be finished for the season. Yet, there will be no time for the winner to celebrate since the winning team has to play a second match Saturday night for a right to advance to the state final.

No. 5 Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) vs. Leo (Leo, Ind.): Of the eight teams remaining in Indiana’s Class AA state tournament, four of them are undefeated – and they have to go head-to-head in what amounts to the state quarterfinal round. While Carmel vs. Reitz Memorial is the highlighted match, Hamilton Southeastern is carrying an 18-0-2 record into its showdown with Leo at 17-0-3. Leo’s Katie Pannabecker, who has 27 goals, may test a Hamilton Southeastern defense that has shutout 13 of its last 16 opponents.