Calm before the storm for soccer playoff spots

03/10/2014 1:12 PM

03/10/2014 1:13 PM

With spring break bringing a brief hiatus to the district schedule in boys soccer, the remaining games will be critical for teams bunched in the middle of the standings.

Fossil Ridge and Richland are tied for the district lead, while Carroll is in second place. Central and Keller are tied for fourth.

Timber Creek is a point behind Keller and Central for the final playoff spot with two games remaining, and the Falcons have Keller and league co-leader Fossil Ridge remaining after the break.

“It’s make it or break it. They are very difficult dates for us,” Timber Creek head coach Jaime Betancur said.

Last Friday, the Falcons tied Northwest in a scoreless contest, but it allowed them to garner a point in the standings.

Betancur said this year’s team has been playing as well as any team he’s had in the last five years at Timber Creek. “The kids are playing hard and believe in each other and play for each other. Sometimes the results just don’t happen. But with one week to go, we’re still in the thick of things.”

Helping lead the Falcons offensively is Darrius Miller. “He’s very important to our offense,” Betancur added. “But every game, everyone else contributes. There really aren’t any stars, because everyone plays so well together.

The defensive tone is set by Tim Watson and Grant Delletre.

•  Keller picked up a 2-0 win over Haltom last Tuesday and then had its heart broken in a 3-2 loss to Carroll last week.

It was the fourth 3-2 loss for the Indians this season and the second identical score with the Dragons this year.

“It’s not that we’re playing bad,” Keller head coach Jason Bates said. “We just haven’t been able to take advantage of games.”

In addition to the Timber Creek matchup, Keller also has Richland on March 21.

Should the Indians and Chargers still be deadlocked, the tiebreaker shows a split in their head-to-head games and then even the goal differential in the respective wins is also identical.

•  Central still has Northwest and Haltom, the bottom two teams in the district, which at least appears favorable for the Chargers.

The Chargers picked up points by getting draws with each of the district leaders, Fossil Ridge and Richland, last week.

•  Fossil Ridge, although not concerned about staying at home for the postseason, has to be concerned about hanging on to its share of the lead.

The Panthers are coming off a 4-0 win over Haltom. Anthony Powell scored two goals, while Cody Seidel and Triston Stephens each added a goal.

In addition to having to face the Falcons in the last regular season game, Fossil Ridge will face Carroll on March 18.

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