NCS boys soccer is under way

The first night of the North Coast Section playoffs saw one major upset in each division, and it set up a number of intriguing matchups in Saturday’s quarterfinals. Among those matchups are rematches of both of last year’s championship games.
In 2A, No. 11 Miramonte beat No. 6 Kennedy at Richmond High School on Wednesday night. More surprising than the result was the score — the Matadors won 4-0 and probably could have scored more.
The only other real upset was in 3A, as No. 11 Castro Valley edged No. 6 San Ramon Valley 2-1 in double-overtime. That was the worst of a bad night for the East Bay Athletic League, which saw three of its five playoff teams go down on the first day. No. 10 Amador Valley lost 3-0 to No. 7 Antioch, while No. 8 Livermore lost 3-1 to No. 9 Richmond.
Miramonte’s win sets up a rematch of last year’s 2A final against Piedmont. The fifth-seeded Matadors won that one 3-0. And Richmond’s win will set up a fourth playoff game in five years against No. 1 Monte Vista. Richmond lost each of the previous three by one goal, including a 2-1 defeat in last year’s 3A title game.
Speaking of rematches, No. 2 De La Salle will face Bay Valley Athletic League foe Antioch for the third time this season in Saturday’s quarterfinals. The Spartans won 1-0 and 2-0 in their two regular-season meetings. And Castro Valley, which spoiled an all-EBAL quarterfinal match by beating San Ramon Valley, will play California.
There are plenty of interesting games in 2A, as well, including Las Lomas-Bishop O’Dowd and St. Mary’s-Acalanes.
My picks for the semifinals? I think the top four seeds will probably take care of business in 3A, but if I had to pick an upset, it would be Richmond over Monte Vista. The Oilers looked like world-beaters against Livermore last night, and they’re a real threat to beat anybody if the keep playing like that.
It’s highly possible the 2A semifinals could feature four Diablo Foothill Athletic League teams, though I think Miramonte upsetting Piedmont and St. Mary’s upsetting Acalanes are equally likely. Las Lomas-Bishop O’Dowd is a toss-up, but I’ll go with the DFAL and take Las Lomas. And I think No. 1 Concord is the team to beat, so the Minutemen should be able to handle No. 8 Tennyson.

Here’s a breakdown of the brackets so far:
Wednesday’s first round

Richmond 3, No. 8 Livermore (14-8-1) 1
Washington 5, No. 12 Deer Valley (8-9-6) 1
Antioch 3, No. 10 Amador Valley (11-7-7) 0
Castro Valley 2, No. 6 San Ramon Valley (15-7-3) 1, 2 OT
Saturday’s quarterfinals
No. 9 Richmond (18-4-1) at No. 1 Monte Vista (16-0-7), 7 p.m.
No. 5 Washington (20-5-0) vs. No. 4 James Logan (16-6-2), at Tak Fudenna Stadium, Fremont, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Antioch (16-4-2) at No. 2 De La Salle (17-1-6), 7 p.m.
No. 11 Castro Valley (15-7-3) at No. 3 California (15-4-2), 7 p.m.
Wednesday’s first round

Tennyson 1, No. 9 Campolindo (12-6-6) 0, shootout
Bishop O’Dowd 4, No. 12 Albany (12-9-2) 0
St. Mary’s 1, No. 10 Hercules (8-5-2) 0, 2 OT
No. 11 Miramonte (9-10-5) 4, No. 6 Kennedy-Richmond (16-2-4) 0
Saturday’s quarterfinals
No. 8 Tennyson (15-4-2) at No. 1 Concord (17-2-5), 7 p.m.
No. 4 Las Lomas (16-4-3) at No. 5 Bishop O’Dowd (17-2-4), noon
No. 7 St. Mary’s (16-3-3) vs. at No. 2 Acalanes (16-4-3), 7 p.m.
No. 11 Miramonte (10-10-5) at No. 3 Piedmont (19-1-3), 7 p.m.