The Colleyville Heritage boys soccer team has assured itself of a playoff spot, but bad weather and game postponements have taken their toll on the Panthers just like most programs in the North Texas area in late winter.
The Panthers played Coppell on Tuesday night after after the press deadline; see www.dfwvarsity.com for results. They will travel to Richland at 7:30 p.m. Friday to wrap up the regular season.
Coach Adam Phillips said that he believes that Richland could present some problems for Colleyville if his team does not come ready to play.
“They're going to come out hard, because that is their final game as well,” Phillips said. “They are a good team. It was a really close game the first time we played them, and we match up pretty well with them, so I am expecting a good game.”
Colleyville Heritage defeated Richland 1-0 on Feb. 17 in the two teams’ first encounter.
Phillips said that the layoffs his team has had to endure have affected the Panthers, but said that his team has adjusted well and is feeling confident.
“It's a tough thing, because you can't really practice like you'd like to because of the weather,” Phillips said. “But we secured second place in our district. We kind of know who we're going to play in the playoffs, which for us is a step in the right direction.”
Phillips said the area where his team was the most affected was in trying to establish a rhythm as the playoffs approach, but added that Colleyville was not the only team that found itself in that position.
“That was tough,” Phillips said. “Because the whole Tuesday/Friday format really establishes how you practice. So that kind of threw us off, but everyone is going through the same thing and facing the same conditions. It affected the whole North Texas area.”
Phillips said he does feel good about the way his team is playing as it gets ready to enter the postseason, because it had the opportunity to do something he feels was very necessary to playoff success.
“We practiced more toward the end of spring break to kind of get our touch back,” Phillips said. “That's the main important thing, is just to stay healthy and kind of fine tune certain aspects of our game. I think we'll be OK.”
Colleyville Heritage will likely open the postseason with Duncanville, the team that defeated the Panthers in the area round last season.
Phillips said that he expects another good game when the two teams square off this season.
“They are well coached, and they are a good team,” Phillips said. “I got to see them over spring break, and they play well. I think we are a better team, overall, this season. We have good chemistry, our passing is pretty good and if one guy is down, the other guys step up, so I think we'll be all right.”