But the game went on despite cold, wet and muddy conditions. The Sulphur Springs Wildcats lost 3-1 at North Lamar Friday in the regular season soccer finale.
The Wildcats finish the season as the runner-up team in District 20-4A. They will be in playoff action to be determined later. Sulphur Springs has been in the soccer playoffs for 16 consecutive years.
“It was disappointing, it was very tough conditions to play in,” said Sulphur Springs head coach Andy Holt. “But it was the last game of district and we needed to get it in. But it was wet and sloshy, not really soccer. You could not kick to another player, you had to kick it and run get it. We did the best we could do in the conditions.”
Holt said he had tried to reschedule the game with North Lamar, but could not.
“The conditions favored them, I think. They are a bigger team,” Holt said. “The conditions kind of equalled things out. North Lamar plays a big physical game.”
After a scoreless first half, the Panthers got on the board three times in the second half.
The lone goal for Sulphur Springs came from an unassisted kick by Oscar Martinez.
“We did not play that well in the second half. Oscar made a nice play to get his goal,” Holt said. “It seemed like when North Lamar got ahead, things snowballed for them and they got the other two goals pretty quickly.”
Sulphur Springs finished the regular season as the No. 2 team in the district behind Greenville with North Lamar taking third and Paris finishing fourth.
The Wildcats tentatively have a warm-up game set Thursday at 6 p.m. in Forney. Forney finished fourth in District 23-4A.
Sulphur Springs will meet the winner of the McKinney/Carrollton Smith game in the area round at a time and place to be determined.
Holt said he is considering flipping home-and-home with the winner.
Last year the Wildcats lost 4-1 to McKinney Boyd in the first round of the playoffs.
“It’s exciting to have a home playoff game. If the girls won their flip and a lot of things fell in line we might have a home doubleheader,” Holt said. “Playing at home has been good to us. We like playing at Gerald Prim Stadium.”
Some of the teams used to playing on wider or turf fields could have trouble adjusting to the dimension of the Sulphur Springs stadium.
“Our home field is about 55 to 56 yards wide and many teams are used to playing on fields 70 yards wide,” Holt said. “We will work on the flip, if we win we play at home and that’s good for us - but if we lose we probably play on a turf field, and that’s all right too. We’re just glad to be in the playoffs.”
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