The Fort Mill boys and girls soccer teams, as well as the Nation Ford boys and girls teams, are all poised to make the playoffs this season, and some look strong enough to make serious playoff runs late into May.
The Fort Mill girls (13-5-0, 9-0 region), who ranked among the top ten in the state for much of the season, have already clinched first place in region 3-AAAA, which they dominated with a 9-0 record. The Jackets are currently riding a 62-game winning streak in the region, dating back to 2004, and allowed only two goals all season on region play.
Led by the consistently strong play of their team captain, junior Taylor Parker, Fort Mill won both showdowns with region runner up Clover, and also took an important 1-0 victory against 11th ranked Lexington in a March tournament.
The Jackets close their season Wednesday against Mallard Creek.
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The Nation Ford girls (12-7-1, 5-4 region), in the school's second year, have clinched third place in the region, one place higher than their finish last season.
Led by two-sport athlete Katie Kozlowski, the Falcons played a tougher schedule this season, taking on five out-of-state opponents. The Falcons dropped both matches against Fort Mill and Clover, the region's top two finishers, but went undefeated against the other three region opponents, winning four of their last five matches.
On the boys' side, both Fort Mill and Nation Ford struggled against undefeated powerhouse Northwestern, the state's top team.
Fort Mill (13-5-1, 7-2 region) won all of their region match-ups, other than the two matches against Northwestern, to finish in second place.
In their seven region wins, the Jackets did not allow a single goal, and led by their team captain, senior midfielder Tyler Vukoder, the team posted huge wins against third ranked Wando, Cardinal Newman, and Clover (twice).
Fort Mill, now ranked sixth in the state, also traveled to Oak Ridge, Tenn., during spring break to take part in a tournament featuring top teams from three states, where they went 2-2.
The Nation Ford boys (7-6-0, 4-4 region) are the only area team that has not locked down their finishing rank in the region.
Although they have clenched a playoff spot, the Falcons will close the season Thursday against Clover in a match that will likely decide who will finish in third and fourth place.
The two teams met once already, a March 23 match at Clover. Nation Ford won 2-1.
The opening round of the girls AAAA playoffs is May 11, and the boys AAAA playoffs begin May 12.