Victoria teams want momentum over spring break
BY WILL BROWN - WBROWN@VICAD.COM
March 7, 2013 at 9:01 p.m.
Updated March 6, 2013 at 9:07 p.m.
• Boys: Victoria West (16-2-2, 7-1-1) vs. Corpus Christi Moody, 6 p.m., Memorial Stadium
• Girls: Victoria West (8-8-2, 3-4-2) vs. Corpus Christi Moody, 8 p.m. Memorial Stadium
If Victoria East or West soccer teams lose Friday night, they will have a long time to think about it.
As the District 59-4A soccer season nears its conclusion, teams will take the field one last time before spring break freezes play for the seven teams in the district for more than 10 days.
The West teams will host Corpus Christi Moody at Memorial Stadium, while East travels to face Corpus Christi Ray.
The East boys have been eliminated from the playoffs, but the city's three other programs have massive encounters ahead of them.
The West boys (16-2-2, 7-1-1) are tied for the district lead with Rockport-Fulton (7-2-1, district), but they have a game in hand. Moody currently occupies fourth place in district. The Trojans (5-3-2) are just three points ahead of Ray (4-4-1).
West has three games remaining, and head coach Bill Tally said each of them will provide different challenges for his charges.
"Moody is real straightforward," Tally said, referencing the Trojans' style of play. "Gregory-Portland possesses the ball well, and East is an emotional game. It's always real tight no matter what. We have to take it like we have the whole year, one game at a time. If we get ahead of ourselves, that usually messes things up."
That is the same approach Misty Boenig said the East girls will take into Friday's massive game with Ray.
East (14-5-1, 7-2 district) is third in 59-4A behind the Texans (7-1-1) and Gregory-Portland (7-1-1). Ray's only district defeat was a 2-1 loss in Victoria on Feb. 12, while East dropped points both times it played Gregory-Portland.
"As for how we are preparing for it, it's the same as any other game," Boenig said. "We don't take any opponent in this district lightly. It doesn't matter who it is. We'll take them with full force and with everything we've got."
Friday, East will also take the field against a program that possesses a lot of similarities. Boenig said the Lady Texans have speed in the back to snuff out attacks, possess the ball in the middle of the field and have speedy forwards who can create opportunities.
East may be playing some of its best soccer of the season because it has not only created chances but also finished them. The Titans scored three goals in the first nine minutes of Tuesday's 4-1 victory over Rockport-Fulton at Memorial Stadium.
Rockport-Fulton is fifth in the girls standings. The Lady Pirates are tied on points with Victoria West (8-8-2, 3-4-2 district); however, West owns the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Moody is sixth in the district, but the Lady Trojans are just two points behind West and Rockport-Fulton.
Should Moody beat West for the second time this season, all three schools would likely enter spring break tied.
James McCarter said the Warriors will have to take care of Moody before it can worry about playoff permutations or anything else. The last time West played Moody, on Feb. 12, the Warriors conceded in the first minute of the match on their way to a 3-1 loss.
"They are a scrappy team. They have a little bit of speed, and we're going to have to play some defense," McCarter said. "I think we can score with them, but we will have to play some better defense to win that game."
Tally, McCarter and Boenig are not concerned about the upcoming break snapping whatever momentum their teams possess, largely because all three coaches are confident their players can produce a result that will make it a moot point.
"It gives us a little comfort to know if we win out we know we will win district," Tally said. "Knowing that motivates us. As long as we take care of business, we don't have to worry about that."