Busy week big opportunity to Wildcat soccer team
They wait through school all day, get suited out in the locker room, work and sweat up a storm and go home tired and hopefully happy.
Maybe this crazy week of games the weather has brought upon the De Soto girls soccer team is a little like practice. Cat coach Darren Erpelding said he's hoping so, anyway.
De Soto is in the middle of playing games on four consecutive days. When it comes to the end Thursday night at Bonner Springs, Erpelding said he'll be looking for a number of things: three more wins (the Cats lost the first game of the string, a 3-2 game at Blue Valley), a lot more confidence, a group of worked out but rested players, and all the momentum he could ever ask for.
"We'd rather play every day," Erpelding said. "It's better than practice."
Though it lost at Blue Valley, De Soto began taking confidence right from the start of the regular-season finale.
De Soto was demolished at the hands of the Tigers last season, 7-0. It had several chances to tie in the waning seconds of this year's game, however.
Danielle Price lofted a ball to Nicole Radcliffe in the center of the field. Radcliffe then let loose a burner right at the goalie, 15 yards from the net. It hit the goalie in the hands, then crept up and over her head and continued on to pull De Soto within one goal with more than 15 minutes remaining.
The Cats had three good chances in the final minute, too, but none came to fruition. Either way, that performance, combined with Tuesday's 7-0 shellacking of Ottawa left the team confident, Erpelding said.
De Soto hopes to build on that Thursday at Bonner Springs. The team also played Wednesday at Immaculata, but results were not available at press time.
"We moved the ball well and it was just good," Erpelding said of the Ottawa game. "We got to move a lot of the girls around and I found out we're a lot more flexible than I thought we were."
While the obvious goal remains winning one game at a time, he said the team also plans to begin focusing on getting ready for next week's regional tournament. If the Cats are really able to pick up the three wins, that will give them 10 on the season, and could do wonders for their seeding, taking them from No. 8 to as high as No. 4.
Right now the focus is on closing out the season strong, getting everyone healthy and making sure that wherever the Cats end up, they're ready to go come tourney time.
"It's valuable," he said of the possibility of winning three games heading into the postseason. "We might be able to rest some people a little and get some confidence for some other people. The girls are having fun and they're ready."