To make the girls soccer playoffs, Central had to maintain a two-point lead over Denton Guyer last week.
Ryan was having a less-than-mediocre season, so it seemed the Lady Chargers would need to come away from their regular season finale with Timber Creek with a win.
No doubt, the pressure was on the Lady Chargers to make something happen against a team which had already beaten them earlier in the year.
Maddie Kramber from Central scored first in the game with just 24 seconds remaining in the first half to take the lead.
But when Timber Creek tied it up early in the second half, the momentum seemed to shift and the possibility of a postseason appearance was in question.
What happened, though, was a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation and a Central shootout win to cement its playoff future.
As it turned out, Ryan took Guyer into a shootout, as well, but that didn’t matter to a team dedicated to finishing in fourth place on its own merit.
“That game totally gave us momentum,” said Central head coach Lauren Arias. “This team has been never-say-die. We’ve never folded.”
Timber Creek head coach Mike King said his squad knew what they were walking into with Central.
“It’s dangerous when playing a desperate team,” King said. “They were better at the 50/50 balls and put pressure on us.”
Still, Timber Creek had played as well as most anyone in the district throughout the season.
That final game would not have been an issue if Central hadn’t given eventual district champion Byron Nelson its only loss of the season the previous week. Faith Thomas and Caitlin Davis had scored to beat Nelson, 2-1.
Now, with the playoffs set to start this week, Keller, Timber Creek and Central will continue to play.
Who each team will play was still up in the air as of the press deadline, as the opponents in District 6-6A – those paired with District 5-6A in the bi-district round – still had a game remaining to be played on Monday which would help determine the order of finish, and hence the pairings.
Keller head coach Billy Griffiths said he expected Flower Mound Marcus to hold on to its third-place spot, but he knew anything could happen in the final games of the tight district race.
In the event of a Marcus third-place finish, there would likely be a Marcus vs. Keller double-header – boys and girls games – on Thursday at Mustang-Panther Stadium in Grapevine. The girls would play at 6 p.m. with the boys following at 8 p.m.
Central would have the likely district champion Allen, while Timber Creek will have to wait until the dust settles in 6-6A.
Hebron, Flower Mound and Lewisville are all still in the mix heading into the final games.
Keller, as well as Central and Timber Creek, had an opportunity to take a little time to recover last week.
The time off was nice, but Griffiths said those in 6-6A are already playing playoff-like games.
“We’ll deal with it and get ready,” he said. “Good things will happen if we play well.”