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Chiefs and Panthers to face off in state soccer finals

Friday night, 7:30 p.m. Forget about watching "Jeopardy" or “Friday Night Lights” later that night. Get out under the real Friday night lights for what should be one of the most dramatic soccer games in the history of McIntosh and Starr’s Mill High School, if not the county and quite possibly the state.

McIntosh, ranked number one in Class AAAA, number three in the state and number seven in the nation in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings, will host Starr’s Mill, ranked second in Class AAAA and sixth in the state. The Chiefs are 21-1 this season and the Panthers are 18-3-1. McIntosh won 4-1 when these two teams faced off on Apr. 1 in the Battle for the Troops. Dating back to 2004, McIntosh leads the series 4-2-1, but any fan of these two teams can tell you a game between these two teams is special. The players on both of these squads have grown up on the soccer fields together, often playing on the same club teams or on the opposite sides from a very young age. It is a friendly rivalry, but one that gets heated when the whistle blows and the game begins.

The Chiefs have won 10 in a row since a 1-0 loss to Whitewater on Mar. 26. Starr’s Mill has gone 8-1 since the loss to McIntosh and has posted two consecutive 1-0 shutouts against ranked opponents to make the final. Starr’s Mill has scored 69 goals this season and allowed 21 and McIntosh has scored 101 and allowed 11.

Neither team is a stranger to the drama of a state championship game. McIntosh has won three state titles - 1992, 2000 and 2007. They lost the state final to Marist last year 2-1. Starr’s Mill won a state title in 2000 in Class AAA and was the Class AAAAA runner-up in 2004 after falling to Brookwood 1-0.

Which one will add another trophy to their case? Find out at McIntosh on Friday.

The Citizen will post a story after the game that night and will “tweet” at www.twitter.com/citizensport throughout the final.

For more on the semifinal wins for both teams, visit www.thecitizensports.com

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