3 area soccer teams closing in on postseason - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

3 area soccer teams closing in on postseason

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:49 pm | Updated: 9:56 am, Thu Aug 29, 2013.

There is a bit of tidying up left to do, but for the most part the soccer season is heading toward the postseason.

It looks as if three of the six area teams are moving on to the playoffs while the other three are making the arrangements for the team banquet.

Most teams have one regular season game left before the postseason starts on Jan. 29 for girls and Jan. 30 for the boys.

Both of the Desert Vista teams will advance with a high seed attached to it in the Division I tournaments. The Horizon Honors boys program will make the playoffs for the second straight season for the first time.

The Horizon girls have had problems all year, while the Mountain Pointe boys and girls squads might be left wondering what might have happened with another win or two.

Entering Tuesday’s action the Pride boys, which has had the hardest schedule in Division I according to the rankings, were on the outskirts of the seedings — No. 22 with a 16-team field — and winning out against Corona del Sol on Tuesday and Perry on Thursday might not be enough.

“With the power points I never know until the last teams play the last games and AIA says who is in and who is out,” Pride boys coach Bryan Sabato said on Friday. “I do know that our goal is to win as many games as we can.”

Consistency has been the biggest drawback for Mountain Pointe this year.

“I think we have been an up and down team that has struggled to find consistency,” Sabato said. “We have had a couple of really strong efforts over the last few games The team has remained committed and focused. Their effort level in training and in games has been great all season. The results have not always been in our favor but they have not been for a lack of effort. This is a great group of young men and I truly feel honored to be able to work with them on a daily basis.”

The Pride girls also began the week in 22nd place with a match at Glendale Ironwood on Tuesday and on the road against Perry on Thursday.

The outlook is brighter at the Horizon boys, which is 12th in Division III, as the Eagles take on Maricopa to close out the season Thursday.

The postseason should be all about the Desert Vista squads as both teams seemed poised for a long stay.

The Thunder boys are in line for a first-round home match as the third seed before the final two matches, a home-and-home with Chandler.

The Thunder girls were No. 3 in the state heading into their final two matches against the Wolves.

Desert Vista girls coach Marin Hypolite said the chance to play a quality team like Chandler only helps heading into the postseason when the Thunder will have to get past teams like Highland and Pinnacle in order to win the state title.

“It’s always better to have an intensity to prepare you for what is next,” he said. “We are playing better and have to be ready for tough games. We have a high energy and playing well.”

The Thunder are openly talking about winning a state title and with the talent and undefeated regular season it is understandable.

“That’s our goal,” said. “We want to build up to it and take it one game at a time,” Hypolite said.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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