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Santa Maria Valley schools are getting used to this Central Section setup just fine.

A pair of area soccer teams won't have to travel very far to start the postseason.

Orcutt Academy is scheduled to host Santa Maria at Rice Ranch at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the CIF Central Section Division 3 girls soccer playoffs. 

The Spartans and Saints played a trio of close games during the regular season as both squads competed for the Ocean League title. The Saints finished 11-9-2 overall and 7-3 in the Ocean League. The Spartans are 20-3-4 overall and have scored 83 goals on the season while giving up 25. The Saints have scored 30 and given up 25. 

The teams played to a 1-1 draw in November before the Saints won 5-4 in a shootout after a game was scoreless in regulation and overtime. Orcutt Academy then beat Santa Maria 2-1 last month.

Boys soccer

Meanwhile, St. Joseph will travel across the street to rival Righetti for a first-round game in the boys soccer Division 1 playoffs. The Warriors beat the Knights 2-1 earlier this season after scoring on a Bryan Rivera penalty kick in extra time.

The Central Section released the soccer brackets Monday afternoon.

This is the first year 13 schools in the Santa Maria Valley and San Luis Obispo County will compete in the Central Section postseason after moving from the Southern Section. Typically teams would be traveling all over Southern California for first-round games, but some teams don't have long trips at all.

Pioneer Valley's boys soccer team is scheduled to play at San Luis Obispo Tuesday night at 5 p.m. 

That game and the St. Joseph-Righetti game were moved up from Wednesday due to rain in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

Santa Maria's boys soccer team has a first-round home game. The Saints earned the second seed in CIF-CS Division 1 playoffs and will host Bakersfield Centennial at 6 p.m. Wednesday night.

San Luis Obispo earned the No. 1 seed in Division 1 after beating out the Saints for the Mountain League championship. Pioneer Valley, also a Mountain League team, earned the 16 seed in Division 1. The Tigers moved the game up to Tuesday as they play on a grass field.

Righetti, which handed Santa Maria one of its three Mountain League losses, earned the No. 6 seed in Division 2. St. Joseph, an Ocean League team, is the No. 11 seed in Division 2.

The Warriors are 7-11-3 overall and went 3-7-3 in Mountain League play. St. Joseph is 9-10-2 and went 6-6 in Ocean League play. 

Also in Division 1, Golden Valley is at Arroyo Grande, while in Division 2 Atascadero travels to Dinuba. In D3, Nipomo plays at Lemoore and Morro Bay is at Tulare Union.

Girls soccer

On Wednesday, St. Joseph is scheduled to play at No. 1 seed Clovis North in Division 1. The Knights earned the 16th seed. The St. Joseph girls are 13-12 overall. They went 4-8 in the Mountain League. 

Righetti's girls, meanwhile, will host a first-round game in Division 2. The Warriors will host Sanger on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. They went 6-9-5 during the regular season and 3-9 in the Mountain League to earn the No. 8 seed in Division 2 and host the No. 9 seeded Apaches. 

In Division 3, Fresno Hoover is at Templeton and Morro Bay is at Hanford.

Also in Division 1 on Wednesday, Arroyo Grande is at Visalia Redwood, Paso Robles plays at Clovis West and Atascadero travels to Clovis. In Division 2, Nipomo heads to Bakersfield to play at Garces.

There's also a full slate of girls basketball playoffs scheduled for Tuesday, with Righetti's girls playing at Hanford in Division 1. 

Nipomo, Orcutt Academy and Pioneer Valley all host first-round playoff games Tuesday night. 

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Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at jbailey@leecentralcoastnews.com or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jbaileysmsports

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Sports Editor

Alumni Fresno State