Soccer Cats gearing up for playoff against Boyd

From Staff Reports

March 16, 2008 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats geared up for the playoffs by whipping out-manned Liberty-Eylau 10-0 on Friday in the regular season finale at Gerald Prim Stadium.

The Wildcats ended the regular season with a 12-2 mark in District 16-4A, good enough for second place after district-leading Mount Pleasant defeated North Lamar 4-0 on Friday.

Sulphur Springs will open the bi-district round of the playoffs on Thursday, when they travel to McKinney Boyd to play the Broncos at 7:30 p.m. The game will be played on Boyd's soccer field adjacent to the high school.

To get there, take Highway 380 from Greenville and follow it a couple of miles past the US 75 intersection in McKinney. Then, take a left on Lake Forest Drive. The school is less than a mile from the highway.

Boyd is ranked No. 6 in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, according to the Dallas Morning News, after finishing third in District 15-4A behind No. 1-ranked Mesquite Poteet and No. 2-ranked McKinney High.

The Broncos beat Poteet once this year, which SSHS head coach Andy Holt said indicates how good they are.

"That's a very tough district, and it tells me how good they are to finish in the top three," Holt said. "They're a very good team. They have a lot of club players who play soccer year-round. They're physical, they have some speed and skill.

"But, our team has some speed and can be physical. I feel like if we go over there and play well, we have a chance to win."

The match will be played on Field Turf, which is one of the reasons that Holt flipped for a home-or-home setting. The Wildcats play just two of their 14 district games on artificial turf, while Boyd plays all of its games on the surface. He had hoped to get the Broncos on natural grass, which slows the game down somewhat.

"We've got some experience on it, but it's been a long time," Holt said.

For their final district game, the Wildcats played in the friendly confines of Prim Stadium during Senior Night. The Wildcats led 3-0 at halftime, then put in seven second-half goals. Senior Omar Ortiz pulled off a hat trick, scoring three goals, and classmate Cruz Lozano added two more.

Also scoring goals were Diego Gonzalez, Tate Ramirez, Zach Junot, Rodrigo Larios and Ruben Espinosa.

"It was a good turnout for a Liberty-Eylau match," Holt said. "A lot of goals were scored on our end. It's good for the seniors to step onto the field at Gerald Prim for the last time and go off with a win."

The Wildcats had hoped that North Lamar could pull off an upset of Mount Pleasant, because that would have given Sulphur Springs the district championship.

But, Holt said Mount Pleasant deserved the title after beating the Wildcats twice, each time by one goal.

"That's something you've got to take care of yourself," he said of the district title. "It would have been nice to sneak in the back door, but you've got to play so that you don't have to have help to win the district championship.

"We are the solid No. 2 team in the district, and we had a really good district season."

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