If coaches have to dig deep into the tiebreaker system in order to determine seeds, you know it was a good season.
Byron Nelson’s girls soccer team and Denton Guyer finished tied for the District 11-4A championship. However, it took the third option in the district’s tiebreaker rules in order for the Lady Bobcats (16-2-5, 6-0-4) to earn the top seed. In the regular season finale, Nelson defeated Argyle, 1-0, on a Katina Tsapos goal.
Nelson and Guyer tied their two district meetings. That eliminated the first tiebreaker – head to head. Because they tied, that also eliminated the second tiebreaker – goal differential.
District 11-4A’s third tiebreaker went to which team gave up the fewest goals in district play. Nelson won out because it allowed only six goals. Guyer surrendered 11.
Nelson opened the Class 4A Region I bi-district playoffs on Tuesday against White Settlement Brewer. It was a doubleheader with the Nelson and Brewer boys teams. Had Nelson won, it would meet Gainesville in the area round on Friday.
“The whole thing was just a tossup,” Nelson coach Philip Salyer said. “You would think you normally don’t have to go that deep into tiebreakers in order to earn the seeds, but that’s why you have them.”
As exceptional as this program has been, it had never won or shared a district championship until this year. Even when the Lady Bobcats lost in the Class 4A state championship game to Highland Park in 2012, they finished second in the district.
“It was a goal that we set out to accomplish so to see it realized is very important for us and for the other kids throughout the program,” Salyer said. “It meant a lot because when you work so hard for something, you want to see it rewarded.”
The defense rests
As noted, the Lady Bobcats were stingy on the defense all year. They surrendered only six goals in 10 district games.
A player like Tsapos, who can swing to the middle and the back, makes Salyer’s job a lot easier.
“We’re just a hard team to score against because we’re aggressive on that end of the field,” Salyer said. “If you’re going to win championships, you have to keep people out of your net.”
Offensively, this team is going to have to continue to receive quality play from sophomore forward Jeyci Lopez and freshman forward Ansley Bunger. The two seem to be on the other side of their ankle injuries. Both played against Argyle.
“Our attack is very strong, but it’s not as consistent as where I’d like it to be,” Salyer said. “We just need to score a little more as we hit the playoffs.”
The Lady Texans (3-17, 2-12 in District 4-5A) finished their season with losses to Richland last Tuesday and to Keller Central this past Friday. Northwest did not score in its last five games.