Titans, Warriors head south seeking upsets
March 30, 2012 at 5:05 a.m.
Updated March 29, 2012 at 10:30 p.m.
A little girl thrown into the deep end of the pool can have drastic consequences.
Soccer is hardly that serious, but the analogy applies for the girls soccer programs at Victoria West and Victoria East.
The Titans will make their first playoff appearance in school history Friday night. Meanwhile, the youthful Warriors will square off against a physical Kingsville team in another bi-district matchup. And, like the little girl, it's sink or swim-albeit the only consequence is the conclusion of their season.
"I know they are physical," said West head coach James McCarter. "If we can match up physically with them, I think we will be all right."
Those that remain from West's devastating shootout loss in the sectional round of the 2011 playoffs asked McCarter if they could work on shootouts earlier this week as they prepared for the playoffs.
But, a shootout won't be necessary if the Warriors can find a way to put the ball in the back of the net.
McCarter said the addition of freshman defender Lorenza Becerra has allowed him to make some tweaks without altering a defense that has posted shutouts six times in 12 district games.
"We have noticed our offensive power has not been in our games. We have worked this week with some offensive minded strategies and moved a few personnel around without weakening our defense."
The Warriors defense was able to hold Flour Bluff's Caroline Cutbirth when the two schools met Jan. 17. Cutbirth is the leading scorer for a Lady Hornets team (12-6-1) that will host Victoria East Friday night.
"I remember they have very good ball control and a really strong defense and they have speed," McCarter said. "I think East will matchup well with them. I think that will be a good game."
McCarter and East head coach Misty Boenig were low-key about how much information about Flour Bluff was shared between the two. But, Boenig did add limiting Cutbirth's touches will be critical to a victory.
Though this is the Titans first playoff appearance, they have seniors at all three levels of the outfield. Boenig said she will rely upon Valerie Rojas, Maria Grifaldo, Katie Williams and the rest of the Class of 2012 to be the team's metronome Friday night.
"That group of seniors has been key for us, as far as keeping a certain mentality on the field," Boenig said. "My captains have really helped with that. They have kept us playing our game, regardless of what is happening out there."