High school boys soccer: Near miss for West; SHS, North and Carson are in

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2023

Staff report

SALISBURY — The NCHSAA released the pairings for the soccer playoffs on Friday.

First-round games are set for Monday.

Central Carolina Conference champ Salisbury and runner-up North Rowan will have first-round home games, while Carson will be on the road.

Undefeated Salisbury, a three-time state champion, is the 3 seed in the 2A West bracket and opens against West Stanly, seeded 30th.

Salisbury is in the playoffs for the 32nd time. The Hornets own 55 playoff wins. That’s 46 more than the other five Rowan County schools combined.

North Rowan is in the playoffs for the first time since 2007 and is the 8 seed in the 1A West bracket as the top 1A team from the Central Carolina Conference.

North will be taking on South Stokes, the 25 seed, in the first round.

North will be seeking the first victory in school history in the boys soccer playoffs.

Carson, an automatic qualifier as the third-place team in the South Piedmont Conference, is seeded 25th and will travel to Winston-Salem to play 9 seed Atkins.

Carson is 5-5 all-time in the playoffs and is in the postseason for the first time since 2015.

The seasons are over for West Rowan, East Rowan and South Rowan. South made the playoffs last season, while East’s last appearance was in 2011.

West was on the brink of ending the county’s longest playoff drought, one that dates back to 1998.

West had a winning overall record and was 29th in the final 3A RPI rankings.

There are 32 teams in the 3A West bracket, but the Falcons missed the playoffs. A factor was the NCHSAA’s leapfrog provision which was adopted a few years ago. Basically, you can’t get into the playoffs ahead of a team that finished ahead of you in the conference standings.

West beat Robinson twice and had a superior RPI, but Robinson. 31st in the RPI rankings, was 8-7-1 in the South Piedmont Conference, while the Falcons were 8-8. Northwest Cabarrus also was 8-8 and 32nd in the RPI rankings.

Robinson got the last at-large bid available in the 3A West bracket and is seeded 31st. Harding, the No. 32 seed in the bracket, was an automatic qualifier.


Gray Stone is the 3 seed in the 1A West bracket and hosts 30 East Wilkes on Monday.

Seeded 22nd in 4A West, A.L. Brown will play at conference rival Lake Norman, the 11 seed, in the first round.