Division II Boys Soccer State Championship
Who: No. 7 Notre Dame vs. No. 5 Salpointe Catholic
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Campo Verde High School (3870 S. Quartz St., Gilbert)
Outlook: The two schools haven't played each other this season, but are no strangers to championship-caliber play. The big thing Kenny Hack's Saints squad took away from its semifinals win via penalty kicks against another Tucson schools (Catalina Foothills) was that Notre Dame trailed 1-0, a rare deficit for the team this season. On paper, there is no obvious favorite in this matchup, which means a repeat of last year's 4-1 victory against Buckeye Verrado seems unlikely. Still, the skill is definitely there and the Saints have had luck on their side (GK Williams Groves admitted as much after making a PK save in the semifinals). Notre Dame is the defending (4A Division II) champions. Salpointe's last championship match appearance was in 2006, where the Lancers lost to Desert Vista in double overtime. They technically "tied" Gilbert in 2004 for the championship and lost to Horizon in the title match in 2003. A Tucson school won every formerly 4A-I championship match since 2005.
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6576.