Posted: 10:42 am Friday, February 10th, 2012

Boys’ soccer: Boca hosts No. 1 team in the nation in state semifinals 

By Jeff Greer

Combined, they’re 40-1-6. They’ve outscored their region tournament opponents 25-2 in six games. Tonight at 7 p.m., Boca Raton and Weston-Cypress Bay will meet in the Class 5A state semifinals.

Something has to give, right?

Cypress Bay (21-0-2) has won 32 consecutive games, including the five in a row it needed to win last year’s Class 6A state title. This year, Cypress Bay is the top-ranked winter team in the nation.

But don’t sleep on Boca (19-1-4). The Bobcats are only eight spots behind Cypress Bay in the same ESPN Rise national poll. They’ve gone unbeaten in their last six games since suffering their only loss of the year back on Jan. 13.

And if the first meeting between Boca and Cypress Bay, a 1-1 draw in December, is any indication, Friday night’s state semifinal should be fun to watch.

Boca will need holding midfielder Nico Midttun, the Bobcats’ talisman, to control the tempo in the center of the park. Menacing wings Hunter Bandy and Sean Holly can create problems down the flanks. Cypress Bay’s defense has been solid all post-season and all year, but in games like this, all it takes is one move behind the back four and that can be the difference.

Looking for more: American Heritage has a shot at another state championship. The defending 2A champion plays powerhouse Tampa Berkeley Prep in a 2A state semifinal on Friday night at 7.

Heritage (22-3-2) is No. 15 in the ESPN Rise poll.