The Madison Soccer Association playoffs kick off this weekend at Goodman Pitch at Reddan Soccer Park in Verona, with the Division 2 semifinals on Friday night and the Division 1 semifinals set for Sunday afternoon.
Both championship games are scheduled for June 17, with the Division 2 match at 6 p.m. and the Division 1 final at 8 p.m.
The first Division 1 semifinal is an intriguing matchup, as the Madison Fire's two teams will face one another.
Fire Red (9-2-5) finished atop the six-team standings, while Fire Black (7-4-5) tied for third but ended up with the No. 4 seed based on tiebreakers. The Fire sides tied in each of their three meetings this season: 0-0 last fall and 1-1 in both March and April. The Fire are the reigning champions, having won five of the past eight Division 1 titles.
Second-seeded Madison United (10-5-1) and No. 3 seed Deportivo (8-6-2) meet in the other Division 1 semifinal – United swept the two matches between the sides during the regular season, winning 2-1 and 3-2.
In Division 2, Epic FC (10-4-2) was the only team in the seven-team league to post a winning record and opens against the Bulldogs (4-6-6), a team they beat 4-0 on May 22. Defending champion Vilas Rangers (7-7-2) claimed the No. 2 seed and plays third-seeded FC Metro (6-6-4) in the semifinals. It will be the first match between the teams this season, as FC Metro forfeited their scheduled game May 20.
MADISON SOCCER ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
All matches at Goodman Pitch, Reddan Soccer Park, Verona
No. 1 Madison Fire Red (9-2-5) vs. No. 4 Madison Fire Black (7-4-5), 2 p.m.
No. 2 Madison United (10-5-1) vs. No. 3 Deportivo (8-6-2), 4 p.m.
Friday, June 17
Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.
No. 1 Epic FC (10-4-2) vs. No. 4 Bulldogs (4-6-6), 6 p.m.
No. 2 Vilas Rangers (7-7-2) vs. No. 3 FC Metro (6-6-4), 8 p.m.
Friday, June 17
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.
Madison Soccer Association website
- The Chicago Fire Under-23 team, which includes five players with Wisconsin ties, won the fourth annual U.S. Soccer National Amateur Championship late last month in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Premier Development League side routed Pennsylvania's West Chester United, the reigning U.S. Adult Soccer Association Open Cup champions, by a 6-1 scoreline in the semifinals May 27, then got past host and defending champion Chattanooga FC 2-1 after extra time in the final one night later to claim the Hank Steinbrecher Cup. UW's Mark Segbers scored the opener for the Fire in the 22nd minute, but the National Premier Soccer League representative pulled level in the 48th and the teams remained tied until Mauricio Pineda scored off a corner kick in the 108th. UW goalkeeper Adrian Remeniuk, Loyola midfielder-forward Brody Kraussel (Muskego) and forward Connor Alba (Waukesha Catholic Memorial) and midfielder Louis Bennett II (Shorewood) from Marquette are all playing with the Fire Under-23s along with Segbers this summer.
- UW-Green Bay's Kyle Ihn (Kettle Moraine) posted his second shutout of the season Saturday as Kokomo Mantis FC and the Des Moines Menace played a 0-0 draw in a PDL Central Conference Heartland Division match in West Des Moines, Iowa. Six players with state ties appeared in the match for the Menace: UW forward Nick Jones and midfielders Alex Masbruch (Slinger) and Chris Mueller, Ohio State midfielder Marcus McCrary (Madison La Follette) and Marquette defender John Pothast all started, and UW striker Tom Barlow came off the bench.
- Kraussel and Segbers played all 90 minutes and Bennett logged 28 minutes as the Fire edged Kokomo 3-2 on Tuesday morning in Bridgeview, Ill. Bryan Ciesiulka (Marquette) picked up his second assist of the season as Mantis FC took a 1-0 lead, but the Fire (4-1-0) rattled off three consecutive goals and held on for their fourth straight win to extend their lead atop the Heartland Division.
- Marquette's Luis Barraza made two saves for the clean sheet as Lane United FC tied the host Washington Crossfire 0-0 in a PDL Western Conference Northwest Division match Sunday in Kirkland, Wash. UW-Milwaukee defender Jonathan Stadler has played all 540 minutes this season for Lane United (1-1-4), while college teammate Matthias Binder has one assist in five appearances for the team.