Hopewell travels to North Mecklenburg for a girl's soccer showdown Thursday. The stakes are high as both teams are fighting for a prime spot in the state playoffs.
"The competitive rivalry will undoubtedly continue next week in what should be a very highly contested match.," said Vikings' coach Neil Roberts.
Hopewell is focused on finishing the regular season strong.
"This is a big game for each team," said Titans' coach Robb Bolar.
Hopewell is fighting to finish third in the conference and secure a good seeding in the playoffs.
Mady Sully, Audrey Boyle, Brooke Arey and Katelyn Faucette will need to perform well if the Titans are to be victorious. Faucette leads the team with 12 goals and two assists, while Arey has 8 goals and one assist.
"North Meck is a great team that looks to pressure all over the field," said Bolar. "We will need to handle the pressure and find open players all over the field."
Hopewell lost 5-0 in the teams' previous meeting, but the Titans didn't have their starting keeper because of surgery. Hopewell is at full strength now.
North Meck will be playing for its seniors on senior night. If the team is able to keep playing well, it has the opportunity to capture the first I-MECK championship.
"We are looking forward to the next few weeks of conference competition," Roberts said. "We know we have a lot of work to do, but we are ready for the challenge."
The Vikings have been playing very well defensively. The defense is led by Tara Zartman, Megan Sullivan, Erin McAnulty and Lindsey Bryne. They have become a force to be reckoned with.
With Emily Rusk in goal, the Vikings have only given up two goals since spring break.
"Our match with Hopewell is always a great match," said Roberts. "Hopewell is talented and very athletic."
The rivalry is as hot as ever and it is sure to be a great showing from the two squads.