Victoria East, Mercedes girls soccer a contrast in styles
April 8, 2013 at 10 p.m.
Updated April 7, 2013 at 11:08 p.m.
It's so simple, it's almost a cliche.
The winner of Tuesday's Class 4A regional quarterfinal girls soccer match between Victoria East and Mercedes will be the team that dictates the tempo.
The Titans (20-5-1) are an attacking team that has developed a reputation for scoring in bunches. Their opponent is a defensive team that will do all it can to avoid conceding.
Both teams are in the regional quarterfinals for the first time in school history. The similarities probably end there.
East has not been shut out since January and scored two or more goals in 13 of its last 15 games. Meanwhile, Mercedes hasn't allowed a goal in three playoff games.
"Something that is important with us is we are one of those teams that can manage to get a goal against teams that have posted shutouts," said Victoria East head coach Misty Boenig. "I hope our offense will speak for itself when we face them. It's going to be interesting, that's for sure."
Neither head coach knew too much about their next opponent, which is why Boenig and her counterpart, Jose Constantino, said they wanted to control the game.
The Tigers (12-5-2) have allowed five goals in their last 11 games. They have shut out opponents eight times since opening District 63-4A play.
"We're hoping for a close game," Constantino said. "They have a strong offense. We are hoping for a close game, and our defense can compete. If their offense asserts itself, it will be difficult for us to compete. I know we are going against a strong team, but we will try to play our game."
Constantino said seniors Yvonne Alvarez and Miranda Jaso are his top offensive threats. That pair will be countered by East's Madison Hawkins and Rachel Mansker.
Hawkins has scored six times in the playoffs, while Mansker has provided two goals and three assists in the playoffs.
The winner will get either Alamo Heights or Georgetown in the Class 4A regional semifinals Friday.
If it's going to be the Titans that win, Boenig said, the team will have to settle down and pay attention to the things the Titans can control, not the areas they cannot.
"We have to start the game strong and make sure that it's our style that we're playing and not anything else," she said. "We want to dictate the game."