NORTHERN GUILFORD (20-1-1) at ASHEVILLE T.C. ROBERSON (22-4-0)
What: Class 3-A semifinal
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
At stake: Winner advances to state championship match Saturday at N.C. State's Dail Soccer Field in Raleigh.
Players to watch: Northern Guilford — F Ellie Grove, sophomore (10 goals, 5 assists); D Logan Jenkins, senior; F Hayley Magnussen, junior (40 goals, 6 assists); MF-F Taylor Malloy, sophomore (16 goals, 11 assists); GK Claire Marion, senior (0.404 GAA, 17 shutouts); F-MF Lauren Reynolds, senior (5 goals, 15 assists); D Maddy Schulenklopper, senior. T.C. Roberson — GK Amber Gay, senior (0.709 GAA, 16 shutouts); F Reagan Hakes, senior (18 goals, 12 assists); F Caroline Hemphill, senior (20 goals, 13 assists); F-MF Maddie Luckett, sophomore (24 goals, 20 assists); D Kennedy Rucker, senior.
Keys to the match: T.C. Roberson has four players with at least 18 goals, while Northern has just one — Hayley Magnussen, but she has 40. Magnussen is the focus of every defense the Nighthawks face, so they have to get other attackers involved. They did just that late in their quarterfinal win over Waxhaw Marvin Ridge, when Ellie Grove scored the winner in the 79th minute. Northern has outscored opponents 107-4 since dropping its opener to Page, so the Nighthawks' defense has been sturdy. Neither team has given up a goal in the playoffs, so don't be surprised if this one comes down to overtime or penalty kicks.