Lady Chargers’ playoff future decided this week

03/17/2014 2:11 PM

03/17/2014 2:12 PM

The final week of the regular season brings exciting conclusions to district races all across the state and District 4-5A’s girls soccer is living up to expectations.

For Central’s Lady Chargers, it’s do-or-die with no looking back.

“The girls have known the whole second half of district what they have to do,” said Central’s interim head coach, Lauren Arias. “They haven’t lost that focus.”

The focus is on winning the final two games of the regular season this week. They are tied with Haltom with 5-7 records for the fourth and final playoff spot.

The pivotal game is the head-to-head matchup with the Buffs on Tuesday. Game results were unavailable at the press deadline but can be found at www.dfwvarsity.com.

Friday’s game for Central is with Northwest.

Central has beaten Haltom, 2-1, and Northwest, 4-1, in their first games of the season. If they can hold serve, the Lady Chargers can return to the playoffs and get the bad taste of a first-round loss to Arlington Martin last seaon out of their mouths.

“They’ve kept their focus since the loss in the playoffs last year,” said Arias. “They haven’t forgotten about loss in the first round and this year we’ve beat Martin twice.”

The win over Haltom wouldn’t necessarily guarantee a postseason berth, but the likelihood is high, as Haltom’s final game on Friday is against league-leading Carroll. Any tiebreaker isn’t really being analyzed by Arias as she said her squad is focused on taking care of their own business.

“We can control our future,” she said. “That’s what we’re aiming for. We control our own destiny, so there’s no need to worry about tiebreakers.”

In addition to being focused, Arias said this team has been able to find positives about everything, even in their losses.

“They stay true to what the goal is and our senior captains are the leaders of the team,” Arias said. “They haven’t let us down and keep leading us over every obstacle, every game and I couldn’t ask for better captains.

The seniors, who have played together since their freshman year – Hope Smith, Kristina Schulz, Carrington Elliott; Allie Kautzman and Emily Dupriest – are ready to make it another successful season in a trying year for the Lady Chargers.

•  It’s not just Central that has something on the line this week, although it’s not an in-or-out proposition.

Keller is currently in second place behind Carroll but tagged the Lady Dragons with their lone district loss recently.

That momentum can’t always be measured at this stage of the season, but if it continues to pay dividends, they’ll be able to test it on Tuesday when the Indians meet Timber Creek.

•  Timber Creek is just a game behind Keller and a win or tie for the Lady Falcons would boost them into the second seed for the playoffs. Their final game on Friday is with Fossil Ridge.

“Any time you’re playing for something it keeps everyone a little more focused,” said Timber Creek head coach Mike King.

“The girls are fired up,” he said, noting the first matchup of the two schools came away with a 0-0 draw.

“We’re finally scoring goals,” King said, noting the Lady Falcons have punched through 16 goals in the last three games. Last week, they blanked Haltom, 4-0.

The higher seed is important in the playoff draw.

“It can take you through the first two rounds and avoid Carroll in the third round,” King said of the second seed as opposed to the third. “Second is a good place to be.”

Playoffs have been a constant for the Timber Creek girls in their four years of varsity play.

“We expect to be in the hunt and expect to be in the playoffs,” King said. “The rest of the school expects it of us.

“It’s a great bunch of kids and I’m proud of how they’ve come in the second half of season,” he said.”

Keller used their momentum after the Carroll win to cruise to a 3-0 win over Northwest. After the Timber Creek game, the Lady Indians will finish with Richland.

•  Fossil Ridge will take on Carroll prior to their season finale against Timber Creek.

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