The 2013 campaign came down to wire on Sunday night. It was the Stampede who were forced to wait for a VSI Tampa victory to decide it’s playoff fate. VSI defeated Panama City Beach 2-1 and with the result, the Stampede clinched the Southeast Division Title (2012, 2013) its second in a row.
This Friday, the Ocala Stampede (11-3-0, 33 pts.) will play the Laredo Heat (8-2-4, 28 pts.) in the first semifinal game to be held at 6:00 pm EST time. On the other side of the bracket, the top-seeded Austin Aztex (11-1-2, 35 pts.) will host the Panama City Beach Pirates (10-3-1, 31 pts.) for the second semifinal game on Friday, with kickoff at 8:30 p.m. The winners of the two matches Friday will square off for the PDL Southern Conference title on Saturday, July 27 at House Park, 8:30 p.m.
The USL PDL Southern Conference is comprised of two divisions, the Mid South Division and the Southeast Division. The top two teams at the end of the regular season qualify for the playoffs. The Austin Aztex, the 2013 Mid South Division Champions, earned the right to host the playoffs. Representing the Mid South Division along with the Aztex are the Laredo Heat, who were the four-time defending division champions until the Aztex won the division title this season. Representing the Southeast are division champions the Ocala Stampede and the Panama City Beach Pirates.
The winner of the Southern Conference Playoffs will enter a final round of playoffs for the USL PDL League Championship, along with the winners of the Northern Conference, Eastern Conference, and Western Conference finals. The location of the final playoffs will be determined among the four representing teams.
In 2012, the Austin Aztex defeated the top-seeded Ocala Stampede in Ocala, Florida in the first round of the Southern Conference Playoffs. The Stampede will look to avenge that loss with a strong showing in this year’s Southern Conference Finals.