Lady Tigers prep for playoffs

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After coming back from a 1-0 deficit to beat Royal, the Sealy Lady Tigers’ soccer team went on the road to play another rival, Bellville, to finish the regular season. The team couldn’t repeat their performance against Royal and lost to the Lady Brahmas 5-1.

The loss marked the fourth time in two months the Lady Tigers have allowed five goals or more in a loss. Head Coach Adrian Rocha said communication and aggressiveness have to improve on that side of the pitch.

“They’re not talking enough and they have to be better at attacking the ball and not getting frustrated,” he said. “Their forwards weren’t that fast but kept beating us so if we can be more disruptive, we’ll be good.”

Despite the loss, the team finished fourth in the district and will make the playoffs. Rocha said the team is dealing with a lot of injuries and spring break will allow them a valuable chance to recover as they look ahead to the postseason.

In preparation for their upcoming playoff match, the coach said he has several things in mind that he wants the team to work on to help their chances.

“The first thing is I want to give them a week’s worth of rest because we’re injured so we have to fix that but the biggest thing is I want to keep their confidence and spirits up because they can get down on themselves,” Rocha said. “We installed a new formation and they’re adapting to that pretty well so if they can stay healthy and positive, that’ll help.”

Rocha said he was happy with the team’s overall performance throughout the regular season especially given his late promotion to head coach. He said the fact that the team rose one spot in district standings from last year is proof their actions spoke louder than their words.

He said while the injuries were hurting the team, the bench players filling in for them have done so well and with a team with a lot of freshmen, it is a valuable learning experience too. Despite this performance, he is making sure to keep the team grounded in reality.

“I don’t want to sugarcoat it because it won’t be easy so they have to be prepared but at the end of the day if they keep that bond they have as a team that’s really developed this season then I’ll be happy,” Rocha said.

The Lady Tigers will play West Columbia on March 29 for their first playoff match and Rocha said their final regular season matchup against Bellville was good preparation for that.

“They play really similar to Bellville so that was a good test for us and now we know what we have to fix and what to expect from Columbia,” Rocha said.

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