Tonight the final two East Region berths into the North Dakota boys soccer state tournament will be determined. It has been a wild season and fittingly the final night of regular season play should be highly competitive with four teams (Fargo South, Fargo North, Fargo Davies and Grand Forks Central) still alive to secure the final two spots.
There are several scenarios of how tonight could play out and almost all require tie-breaking measures to determine the final two spots for postseason play.
Here are the matches tonight that will have postseason implications:
Fargo Shanley at Fargo South, 7 p.m.
Fargo North at Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.
Fargo Davies at Grand Forks Central, 7 p.m.
Currently, South (4-5-2) leads the four-team race with 10 pts. Davies and Central are both 3-5-3 with 9 points. North is 3-6-2 with 8 points. Fargo Shanley and West Fargo have already clinched state-tournament berths. Shanley will be the No. 1 seed from the East Region and West Fargo will be the No. 2 seed.
Here are the simplest ways tonight could go:
1. A South win or tie over Shanley and the Bruins are IN
2. If the Central-Davies match doesn’t end in a tie the winner is IN
The following are different scenarios in which tiebreakers come into play:
1. A South Loss + A Davies or Central win + A North Win
This leaves North and South with 10 points and in need of a tiebreaker for the final state tournament berth. The first East Region tiebreaker criterion in head-to-head play between the two teams (North and South split the regular season series). The second tiebreaker criterion is score differential in those games. South defeated North by 2 goals (2-0) and lost by 1 (3-2) in the two meetings for a score differential of +1. Inversely, North lost by 2 and won by 1 for a score differential of -1. THE VERDICT: South wins tiebreaker.
2. A South Win or Tie + A Davies-Central Tie + A North Loss
This leaves Davies and Central tied at 10 points and in need of a tiebreaker for the final state tournament berth. If Davies and Central tie they would have tied twice this season. The head-head and score differential don’t apply. The third criterion for tiebreaking procedure would be each team’s record against the highest known seed (Fargo Shanley). Davies is 1-1 against the Deacons and Central was a 0-2. THE VERDICT: Davies wins tiebreaker.
3. A South Loss + A Davies-Central Tie + A North Win
This leaves Central, Davies, South and North all tied at 10 points and in need of a tiebreaker to determine the final two spots in the state tournament. Head-to-head records between the four teams are as follows:
North (2-3-1) – 5 points
South (1-3-2) – 4 points
Davies (1-1-4) – 6 points
Central (3-0-3) – 9 points
Central clinches the first remaining berth in the state tournament.
Then we go back to head to head records for the three remaining teams: (South, North and Davies)
Davies 1-1-2 – 4 points
North 2-2-0 – 4 points
South 1-1-2 – 4 points
All tied up so we got to point differential. South is +1, North is 0, and Davies is -1. The VERDICT: South is the No. 4 seed, Central gets the No. 3 seed
4. South Loss + Davies-Central Tie + North Loss
This leaves Davies, Central and South tied at 10 points and in need of tiebreaker to determine the final two spots in the state tournament. Head-to-head records of the three teams are as follows:
Davies (0-0-4) – 4 points
South (0-2-2) – 2 points
Central (2-0-2) – 6 points
THE VERDICT: Central earns No. 3 seed. Davies and South get matched head-to-head.
Davies (0-0-2) – 2 points
South (0-0-2) – 2 points
Point differential is void, because of two ties. The we move onto record against No. 1 Shanley: Davies is 1-1-0, South plays Shanley on Tuesday so that would be TBD.
5. A South Win or Tie + A Davies-Central Tie + A North Win
This leaves Davies, Central and North tied at 10 points and in need of tiebreaker to determine the final spot in the state tournament. Head-to-head records of the three teams are as follows:
Davies (1-1-2) – 4 points
Central (1-0-3) – 5 points
North (1-2-1) – 3 points
THE VERDICT: Central wins tiebreaker.