Sports Maven: Anticipating Eagles women’s soccer playoff march

This suspense is overwhelming, in a way that I might chew my office chair if I had to wait longer to watch the Pleasanton women’s soccer start its playoff run. That the Eagles will have played just one game in a span of almost three weeks when they head to Kingsville to play King for bi-district on Friday feels agitating from a fan’s standpoint.

Pleasanton finished the regular season 17-6-3, having won their district with ease and style. The young women in green and white outscored opponents 26-2 in their six district games and earned four shutouts. Multiple players, like Madelyn Bird and Carly Esquivel, stated that their district opponents were not on their level, but it did not put them in a complacent mood. They still demonstrated high energy, defensive intensity and ball control in each match. Every player went out looking to attack and set up early scoring.

Overall, Pleasanton has shown great defense throughout the season, allowing 29 goals in 26 games. The Eagles have a total of nine shutouts this season. That results from the willingness of every player to mark up opposing ball-handlers and reduce the number of shots allowed, especially crippling opponents’ chances of taking quality shots.

Pleasanton readied itself for this playoff fight with a tough non-district. The signature victory was beating 20th-ranked Salado 2-1 in the Salado tournament.

The Eagles aren’t just a scrappy team looking to make noise. After being in the regional semifinals the past three years, they want something bigger. Battling Wimberly twice in shootouts tourney finals, including the Salado tourney final where the Eagles were shorthanded, were tests that readied them for late playoff stages.

This team has expressed and demonstrated a desire and looks primed to reach a higher level.

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