Emily Nelson (right) and the Tanners earned the No. 6 seed in Division 1 North. (Item File Photo)
Sports

MIAA state tournament soccer pairings announced

The MIAA boys and girls soccer state tournament pairings were released yesterday and plenty of local teams learned their upcoming opponents as they gear up for the first round of play.

On the boys side, three local teams will vie for a spot in the Division 1 North final. It starts with St. John's Prep, which finished its season undefeated behind a stellar year from forward Steven Yakita. The Eagles (15-0-3) earned the No. 1 seed and will host No. 16 Newton North on Friday at 3 p.m. Also, No. 4 Malden (14-2-3) will host No. 13 Framingham on Friday at 6 and No. 15 Peabody (9-7-2) visits No. 2 Somerville on Saturday at 7:30.

In Division 2 North, another trio of local teams will compete for a spot in the final. A pair of Northeastern Conference foes will clash when No. 10 Salem (9-6-3) visits No. 7 Danvers (11-3-3) on Saturday at 5. Also, the No. 14 Malden Catholic Lancers, which snuck into the tournament with a record of 4-11-3, will visit No. 3 Charlestown on Friday at 3:30.

In Division 3 North, four local teams are in the hunt. It starts with No. 3 Gloucester, which will host NEC rival No. 14 Swampscott on Saturday (game time TBA.) Gloucester finished the season at 11-4-2 while Big Blue earned a tournament bid under the Sullivan Rule at 4-14. The Saugus Sachems (9-5-2), making their first tournament appearance since 1998, earned the No. 6 seed and will host No. 11 Dracut on Saturday at 2. Saugus is led by Jonathan Rodriguez, who scored 25 goals this season. No. 10 Lynnfield (8-7-3) visits No. 7 Melrose on Friday at 3.

In the Division 4 North bracket, No. 1 St. Mary's (17-0-1) will host No. 16 Stoneham on Friday at 2. The Spartans received 11 shutout victories from senior goalie Richie Mateo en route to an undefeated regular season. Also, No. 3 Mystic Valley (13-3-2) hosts No. 14 Hamilton-Wenham on Saturday at 2:30.

On the girls side, it'll be Peabody and Malden looking to make a run in Division 1 North. The No. 6 Tanners (11-3-4), led by a terrific season from Emily Nelson, host No. 11 Cambridge Rindge and Latin on Friday at 3. Malden, the No. 9 seed in the bracket, went 10-7-3 in the regular season. Malden visits No. 8 Andover on Friday at 3.

In Division 2 North, No. 4 Danvers hosts No. 5 Beverly on Saturday at 7 in the quarterfinals. Both teams drew a bye in the first round. Danvers' Hannah Lejeune has led the Falcons' offense this season.

Saugus, which finished the regular season undefeated at 17-0-1, drew the No. 1 seed in Division 3 North and hosts No. 16 Wayland on Friday at 2. Also, No. 4 Lynnfield (12-3-3) hosts No. 13 Whittier Tech on Friday at 3, No. 8 Gloucester (11-5-2) hosts No. 9 O'Bryant on Friday at 3 and  No. 11 Swampscott (9-7-2) visits No. 6 North Reading on Friday at 4:30.

Three local teams drew bids in Division 4 North. Mystic Valley (11-4-3) earned the No. 7 seed and hosts No. 10 Lowell Catholic on Friday at 4. St. Mary's (8-7-3) finished its regular season on a high note, earning the No. 14 seed and a visit to No. 3 Innovation Academy on Friday at 2. No. 16 Winthrop (8-8-2) visits No. 1 Boston International on Friday at 4.

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