Last season, the Aledo Bearcats soccer team failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in head coach Derek Vierling's 14-year career at the school.
What a difference a year makes.
Sitting in second place and just one win behind first-place Granbury, the Bearcats can knot up the District 8-5A standings with a win today over the Pirates in the second-to-last district match of the season.
Both AHS soccer teams will host Granbury at Bearcat Stadium. The Ladycats and Lady Pirates will hit the pitch at 6 p.m. followed by the boys' contest at 7:45 p.m.
The first time the Bearcats and Pirates met Granbury came away with a 4-o win. Vierling feels that score did not indicate how close the two teams really are.
“Granbury was better than us the last time, but we don’t feel they were 4-0 better," Vierling said. "I think the last match will motivate our guys, and I am excited about it.”
The Ladycats are in almost the same position as the Bearcats. The Aledo ladies are also in second place and are also just one win away from district-leading Joshua.
However, Joshua holds the tiebreaker over the Ladycats due to a season sweep, meaning the AHS ladies would have to win out and get some help to take the district title.
The Ladycats welcome the addition of junior Cameron Huddleston to the lineup. Huddleston, an elite select soccer player who has already committed to Oklahoma State, scored the lone goal in the Ladycats' 2-1 overtime loss on Friday at Burleson. She has never played soccer at AHS and has played basketball at the school during soccer season.
But this year Huddleston decided to join the soccer team when the basketball season concluded.
"It is big to finally have Cameron with us," Ladycats head coach Bryan Johnson said. "(The Burleson match) was the first match she has ever played for the high school and she showed what a great player she is. She will help us down the road."
The Ladycats and Bearcats will conclude District 8-5A play on March 15 at Cleburne. The Class 5A playoffs begin March 24.
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