Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs
Division IV Soccer
Center-North Highlands (16-6-2) at Sonora (23-2-2), 6 p.m.
Dixon (19-6-1) at Whitney-Rocklin (11-3-4), 3:30 p.m.
Sierra (20-5-1) at West Campus-
Sacramento (17-4-3), 3:30 p.m.
Oakdale (12-7-3) at Colfax (15-6-2), 3:30 p.m.
If the teams were seeded:
No. 1 Sierra, No. 2 Sonora,
No. 3 West Campus, No. 4 Colfax
In the next round: Look for defending champ Sonora to host Whitney -- a second-year school fielding its first varsity team -- and Sierra to visit Colfax, with Sonora and Sierra meeting for a third time in the section final May 17. They split two matches, each winning by a goal at home, and Sonora won the Valley Oak League crown by one point.
Sonora is favored because: The Wildcats have back-to-back section titles and boast one of the state's top career scorers in Lexi Kopf (123 goals). Sonora allowed three goals in 14 VOL matches and has gone nearly six consecutive hours of soccer without giving up a goal. Sonora beat Sierra 2-0 in the 2006 section final.
If Sonora doesn't win, it's likely because: Sierra, which has won 13 of 14 since a 1-0 loss to Sonora, was able to push around the Wildcats in the final. Defense is the key: The two have combined to allow just 23 goals in 53 matches. Sierra's Nicole Vanni had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win over Sonora on April 10.
The dark horse: West Campus was loaded with underclassmen a year ago, when it lost to Sonora 3-0 in the final. The Warriors have three players with at least 12 goals, and Annica Jones has given up 11 goals in 22 matches. The problem is they have to face Sierra in the opener -- probably the best team in this division.
TOP SCORERS IN BRACKET
1. Lexi Kopf, Sonora: 31
2. Ashley Chavez, Center: 30
3. Nicole Vanni, Sierra: 26
4. Savannah Porter, Center: 24
5. Madeleine Salaber, Dixon: 22
6. Tori Selesia, Sonora: 18
7. Megan Foy, West Campus: 16
8. Michaela Scott, Sierra: 15
8. Josie Ruzette, Colfax: 15
10. Katelyn Hiser, Sonora: 13