West Orange County will be well-represented at the FHSAA state soccer playoffs taking place during the week of Feb. 7 with nine teams (two of them being from the same school) vying for the title of state champion.
Here are the teams representing the area, and when their games will be.
A strong season for Foundation Academy continues to the state playoffs. The Lions won the first district title in team history with a 4-0 victory over Mount Dora Christian Academy in the Class 2A District 5 tournament, and now will host a home playoff game against Circle Christian in the first round of the Class 2A tournament on Feb. 8.
Foundation is led by a trio of scorers that scored over 16 goals during the season. Junior Kaitlyn Clark led the team with 20 goals and 23 assists for a grand total of 63 points, but is closely followed by teammates Samantha Wall (19 goals) and freshman Madison Krause (18 goals).
THE FIRST ACADEMY
The First Academy Royals rallied from a disappointing 2020-21 season to finish with a record over 10 wins in 2021-22. Their reward? A rematch with Lake Highland Prep after losing to them in the Class 3A District 6 final by a mere score of 2-1.
TFA had four players register double-digit goals during the season, as well as strong goaltending. The Royals will travel to Lake Highland Prep for the first round match of the Class 3A tournament on Feb. 8.
Horizon shocked many by going undefeated the first two months of the season, and the team refused to look back. The Hawks plowed their way through the district tournament to face McKeel Academy in the championship final. Though they lost that game 4-0, Horizon showed that it could compete with the big teams, despite being a first-year program.
Horizon, under the direction of head coach Thomas Brown, scores goals in bunches with contributions from everyone on the team and don’t allow many with a strong defense and goaltending. The team scored 78 goals in 16 games, including an astonishing 19 in the first two games of the district tournament before being shutout by McKeel.
The Hawks travel to The Village for their first-round matchup with The Village Charter on Feb. 8.
Windermere’s strong season culminated in a district championship, defeating Olympia by a score of 2-0 in the Class 7A District 5 championship game. The team also shutout Dr. Phillips by an equal score of 2-0.
The team will host Lakewood Ranch in the first round of the Class 7A state playoffs on Feb. 8.
With a new head coach heading into the season, Foundation Academy faced questions as to how good they would be. The team answered those questions with a district title in a heart-pounding championship final against Legacy Charter, which culminated in the Lions winning in penalties 6-5.
The Lions will host Faith Christian in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs on Feb. 9.
The Legacy Eagles had their best regular season in years and were seeded first heading into the Class 2A District 5 tournament, but fell to Foundation Academy in penalties in the championship final.
The Eagles travel to Winter Haven for their first round game against All Saints’ Academy on Feb. 9.
Just like the girls team, the Horizon Hawks boys soccer team impressed many with its inaugural season. The team went all the way to the Class 4A District 7 championship game before losing to McKeel Academy in penalties.
As a reward, the Hawks will get a rematch against those very same Wildcats in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs in Lakeland on Feb. 9.
A strong regular season for DP ended in disappointment as the team was upset by Olympia in the second round of the Class 7A District 5 tournament. Despite that setback, the team enters the state tournament with a chance to redeem themselves.
The Panthers travel to Tampa for their first round matchup against Plant High School on Feb. 9.
After stunning many with a second-round upset of No. 1 seeded Dr. Phillips in the Class 7A District 5 tournament, Olympia’s run came to an end against Celebration in the championship final, losing by a score of 3-2.
The Titans earn a first-round matchup against Lakewood Ranch in the first round of the Class 7A state playoffs on Feb. 9.