Back in action

Three Frisco teams return to the playoff pitch on Tuesday

Wakeland-HS

Photo Credit: 
Don Sparks

Three Frisco teams return to playoff action on Tuesday. On
the boys’ side, Frisco Wakeland (23-2-3) faces Rockwall-Heath while Frisco
Centennial will face Richardson Pearce. The Wakeland girls also return to the
pitch to face Pearce, also on Tuesday. All three coaches are ready to resume
their playoff runs.

Wakeland
boys’ coach Rusty Oglesby got a look at Rockwall-Heath (18-5-1) in their 7-1
win over Dallas Bryan Adams over the weekend and he was impressed with what he
saw.

“They’re
a solid little team,” he said. “They’ve got a central midfielder who just
really works hard. I really liked watching him play. Their outside mids do a
good job of getting forward. They don’t seem to have a lot of weaknesses. Their
forwards work well off the ball and work well to get into opportunistic
situations. It should be a good game.”

The
Wolverines advanced with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Frisco HS in
double-overtime on Thursday at Pizza Hut Park, a game his team can take some
lessons from.

“We
hadn’t been in an overtime situation since we played Pearce and Little Elm back
in the tournament season,” Oglesby said. “It was good to play a team that
really forced the pace of play. We saw we couldn’t force our will on them and
had to settle in to wait for the right opportunity. We took advantage of that
and that was a positive. It is a wake-up call. When you win 4-0 or 5-0, kids
are kids and they start thinking every game is going to be that way. I think
we’ll be better off for what happened last week.”

Junior
forward Len Smith has four goals in the playoffs for the Wolverines. Geoff
Hill, who headed in the game winner against Frisco, has scored twice.

The
Frisco Centennial boys (19-4-1) also return to the field on Tuesday, when they
will face Richardson Pearce (16-6-6). Jason Aune’s Titans advanced with a 4-1
win over Carrollton RL Turner last Thursday while the Mustangs beat Lovejoy 1-0
to advance.           

Centennial
and Pearce met back on January 29 and played to a 1-1 draw but Aune knows his
team is much different now than it was then.

“We’re
not the same team we were in preseason, so it’s hard to say if they’re going to
be the same,” the Centennial coach said. “I did watch them (Pearce) play and
nothing has changed. I do expect them to come out and play hard. I expect their
guys to want to compete and want to win the game as much as my kids do. It’s
going to be a pretty good matchup. We went 1-1 in preseason and I expect a
pretty good result, probably going overtime, for this one.”

Late
in the season, it looked like the Titans might miss the playoffs. However, they
won their district finale to qualify and have carried that groove into the
postseason.

“I
think the biggest thing is we’re finally playing to our potential. I’ve got a
lot of big-time players and it’s been one of those things that we played a
really tough preseason,” Aune said. “I had a majority of 5A teams on our
schedule. District was tough and it’s proven that we’ve got one of the toughest
districts around with the top four making it through to play each other again.
I really think we’re hitting our stride right where we need to. We’ve gone
through some tough times but good things are happening at the right time for
us.”

Centennial
has been lead in the playoffs by senior forward Imoh Edohoukwa, who had three
goals. Sophomore midfielder Brenden Lee and senior midfielder Josh Franco also
have two goals each for the Wolverines. However, the Titans have gotten goals
from at least five different players thus far in the playoffs, a big plus for
Aune.

“We’ve
got those natural goal scorers but anytime those others can contribute, it’s
nice. That’s what I have a lot of confidence in us to do,” the Titans coach
said. “If someone is shut down, I have no doubt that the slack will be picked
up by somebody else. It’s a team effort and that’s what the score sheets are
showing, that I’ve got a group of guys that are starting to work hard and put
it together like they should.”

The
Frisco Wakeland girls (18-0-5) will also face Pearce (19-4-2) on Tuesday with
revenge on their mind. Last year, it was the Mustangs who sent the Lady
Wolverines home in their first-ever playoff run. It’s a defeat that Kim Colon’s
team hasn’t forgotten.

“We
kind of had a sour taste in our mouth after last year. We gave up three goals
in the first 10 minutes of that game and that put it out of reach early,” Colon
said. “It was our first real big game, that game and the Highland Park game. We
feel more prepared this year. We had a solid game against Frisco and hope we
can take that into playing against Pearce.”

Her
team comes off an impressive 4-1 win over Frisco on Thursday. Junior midfielder
Logan White had a pair of goals in that win, giving her three in the playoffs.
Fellow junior Ashley Kingston also scored, giving her three tallies this
postseason.

Pearce
advanced by defeating The Colony 4-1 last week. While the two teams have their
share of different players this year, Colon still sees a lot of the same things
that made her team’s next opponent so successful one year ago.

“They’re
still very talented. I think the thing they have going for them is they have
seniors who have been in this position several times,” Colon said of the
Mustangs. ”They’re going to have good leaders. They have kids that play at the
highest level in club soccer. Hopefully it will be a good game. They have a lot
of experience. Even though we advanced far last year, their experience will be
tough to match up with.”