Going into the District 1 soccer playoffs, the field was fairly wide open. Few teams had distinguished themselves from the rest and the tight competition was something that characterized the entire season.
And after two rounds in the AAA boys' tournament, we have a pretty good idea of the parity in the area. Upsets are aplenty.
No. 1 Pennsbury and No. 3 Council Rock North -- two teams that were nationally ranked entering the playoffs -- are both done. That means no state tournament for two teams who played some of the best soccer all season long in the area.
That sets up a very interesting quadruple-header on Halloween to decide the four teams that will represent District 1 in the AAA state tournament.
Right now, a 17 and 19 seed have the chance to qualify for states.
And three teams that made states last season could repeat: Lower Merion, Downingtown West and Central Bucks East.
Lower Merion plays Downingtown West at 10 a.m. in Saturday's first game. Two powerhouses every year, the matchup will come down to the Whippets' star goalie, Bobby Rosato against the Aces' scoring attack.
But we will be closely watching No. 19 Pennridge at No. 6 Souderton and No. 17 William Tennent at No. 8 CB East. Can the two low seeds cap an amazing run to states?
Pennridge and Souderton played to a scoreless tie in late September. Pennridge battled injuries all season but appears to be healthy now. And Souderton won a very tough Suburban One Continental conference.
Tennent was the big shocker. The Panthers had already lost to Pennsbury twice during the regular season by 2-0 and 1-0 scores. But Bob Note scored on a header in the 27th minute and Calvin Young made seven saves for Tennent and its first-year head coach Dave Jones.
What do you think? Will the upsets continue?
Here's the full schedule (remember, all four winners automatically qualify for states):
(7) Downingtown West at (2) Lower Merion, 10 a.m.
(19) Pennridge at (6) Souderton, 1 p.m.
(17) William Tennent at (8) CB East, 1 p.m. (at War Memorial Field)
(5) Strath Haven at (4) Unionville, 5:30 p.m.