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West boys soccer seek more from playoffs

April 5, 2013 at midnight
Updated April 4, 2013 at 11:05 p.m.


CLASS 4A SECTIONAL PLAYOFF

VICTORIA WEST VS. SAN ANTONIO HARLANDALE

7 p.m. start, Friday at Seguin

The primary objectives for the season have been accomplished. But, the players for the Victoria West soccer team are gluttonous.

They want more.

That quest begins Friday night in Seguin when the Warriors (20-3-2) face San Antonio Harlandale in the Class 4A sectional playoffs. West continues to set the bar higher with each playoff win.

Jorge Mazuca and Danny Valadez were adamant the team is not satisfied.

"Now, since we know what it's like to win playoff games, we want more," said Valadez a senior midfielder and one of four captains. "We can get to regionals and obviously state. Why stop now?"

If West wants to move on to the regional quarterfinals for the first time, the team will likely employ the same formula that has been so successful this year: resolute defense, togetherness on the field, dictating the tempo and getting a goal from its creative players.

Mazuca may be just as important as the attacking trident of Edward Rodriguez, Diego Perez and Ernesto Perez because of his versatility. The junior is typically one of the first to come off the bench for West and is willing to play "any position because I love soccer."

"We look to give the starters a rest," Mazuca said Monday. "We try our hardest so it wouldn't be an advantage for the other team when we go in. We do whatever coach tells us."

What soccer coach Bill Tally wants is defensive focus. West has produced 15 shutouts in 25 games this season. Harlandale averages nearly four goals a game. Something will have to give.

"I think we need to be really disciplined defensively," Tally said. "It's going to take the whole team understanding and each player understanding his role. We have to avoid mistakes. If we make mistakes in our third (of the field) they can really burn us. We have to be really focused and organized."

Valadez is optimistic it will not be the Warriors' defense because preventing goals is a group effort from the forwards on back. He mentioned the Indians have a lot of speed in their attack and that is something West will have to be wary about.

Their opponents, the District 57-4A champions, will be just as hungry. No Harlandale team has advanced beyond the third round of the soccer playoffs in a decade.

The Indians (19-4-4) will be led by senior forward Victor Martinez, who has 30 goals in 27 games. Four other Indians have 10 or more goals. In all, 17 players have scored at least once.

"Luckily I have the same guys that have started the year, played just about every game and played all through district," Tally said about his four defenders and goalkeeper Juanito Gonzalez. "They know each other, what we want to do and what they are supposed to do. I feel good about that."

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