Central, Keller battle for playoff spot

03/17/2014 2:23 PM

03/17/2014 2:24 PM

There are almost too many scenarios to fathom, but the end of the boys soccer regular season will shake out the four District 4-5A postseason participants …one way or another.

The biggest issue to be decided is whether Keller or Central will occupy the fourth seed from the district. The two teams are tied headed into this week’s competition.

The Indians and Chargers are tied for fourth, while Fossil Ridge and Richland are tied for first.

Both the Panthers and Rebels are obviously in the playoffs, but the seeding is still in question. Carroll currently is in third place.

Keller will play Timber Creek and Richland, while Central takes on Haltom and Northwest.

Keller head coach Jason Bates knows what his team can control and where they’ll be focused this week.

“All we can do is just worry about Tuesday,” Bates said of the game with Timber Creek. “We need to just take care of our own business. It’s a tight race with Fossil Ridge and Richland at 19 points and us and Central with 16 points. Timber Creek has 15.”

There is even a scenario in which Timber Creek could make its way into the playoffs should Keller and Central falter in their final two games and the Falcons prevail over Keller and Fossil Ridge.

With tiebreakers uncertain, the best plan, Bates said, is to explore the results from Tuesday and re-evaluate.

The first tiebreaker would be head-to-head advantages. Keller defeated Central, 1-0 in the first game, while Central took the second game, 3-2.

But tiebreakers after that are cloudy.

Most likely scenarios take into account the goal differential between the two schools’ head-to-head games, but some districts use the total goal differential of all district games. With Keller and Central, there was no goal differential in the head-to-head games.

There is also the muddied water of whether the tiebreaker is to determine the seeding or if it’s to determine the fourth and final spot. In determining a final playoff spot, a play-in game could be needed.

If so, that game would need to be played on Saturday, which would then go against UIL standard policies of teams playing more than two games in a non-tournament, seven-day period.

“We just try and win on Tuesday and worry about Friday later,” Bates said.

•  Fossil Ridge will be ready for the playoffs, but still has an outright district championship on the line this week.

The Panthers are locked up with Richland for the first place spot after forging a 2-2 with Central and beating Haltom, 4-1.

Ahead for Fossil Ridge this week are Carroll on Tuesday and Timber Creek on Friday.

Meanwhile, Richland was taking on Northwest and Keller.

Should it go to a tiebreaker, Richland has the edge due to a win in a head-to-head game.

“A district championship would be nice, but we’re more worried about taking care of business,” said Fossil Ridge head coach James Moore.

“We’re still approaching every game the same way and will focus on things we need to work on to be as successful as possible,” Moore said.

With Fossil Ridge playing Carroll along with Haltom, there’s even the potential of Keller or Central catching the Dragons for third place in the standings.

“It’ll all come down to Friday,” Bates said.

Tuesday results can be found at www.dfwvarsity.com.

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