PRC soccer closing in on playoff spots
Pearl River Central’s soccer teams split two games with Long Beach Tuesday evening on a cold night in Carriere.
The Lady Blue Devils moved to 4-0 in district play with a 2-1 win.
Anna Grace Atwood and Leigha Trahan each found the back of the net for PRC to give the team a hard fought victory.
Staying unbeaten in district play is no easy feat, and Head Coach Joe Weems said his players executed the team’s game plan to perfection Tuesday evening to remain undefeated.
“They took the same approach they’ve been taking the last few games. They held their shape, disrupted the attack of Long Beach and did everything pretty much right,” Weems said.
The Lady Blue Devils have been on a bit of a roll recently, winning three out of their last four matches.
The uptick in form has seen the team take the top spot in the district, and it couldn’t come at a better time as the squad fights for a playoff spot.
“It’s kind of like they’re finding their place and in the zone close to the playoffs, and you want to be playing your best soccer heading into the playoffs. Ever since the Picayune game (before Christmas) they’ve started putting it together. It was a fun game and you can tell the girls are growing in confidence,” Weems said.
The Lady Maroon Tide and Lady Blue Devils will face off once again Friday night with a playoff spot on the line.
With a win, PRC guarantees a spot in the postseason as the second seed with an opportunity to win district the following week against Long Beach. A loss would make things more difficult.
“We have to just keep our focus and mentally be where we need to be,” Weems said.
PRC nearly clawed back from a 3-0 deficit against Long Beach to win the game, but ended up losing 5-3.
Brant Tarter scored twice for the Blue Devils and Holden Dodd added a goal of his own.
The young team struggled handling Long Beach’s pressure so Weems is going to stress to his athletes the importance of moving efficiently and being precise with passes in future matches.
“They’re holding the ball too long, not releasing early enough and forcing passes, but I think it’s just because we’re young. For a lot of these guys (this season has been) the first time playing together. They’re inexperienced and will get better,” Weems said.
The loss put PRC at 2-2 in district play, meaning the Blue Devils will have to defeat Picayune Friday and Long Beach next week to have a hope of making the playoffs.
“With the guys it’s a little more difficult. We’ll have to sweep the last two district games, which is not impossible. The guys are all over the place right now, so we’re just trying to get some consistency with them,” Weems said.
The match against Picayune will be on the Maroon Tide’s home turf.
The girls game will start at 5:30 p.m. with the boys starting at 7 p.m.