MacArthur-Steele playoff preview

Steele and MacArthur are two prominent schools in San Antonio that have knack for finding each other in most sports, regardless of being in different districts. The two schools have met each other a whopping 14(soon to be 15) times over the last two years across the eight “major” sports in tournaments, non district games, and in the playoffs.

Soccer has always been the most even matchup for the two schools. Recently, Steele has had success in football and basketball, while Mac wins in softball, baseball, and volleyball.

Now, the girl’s soccer team faces Steele in the first round of playoffs. Both teams enter with staggering records on the season, as Mac is 16-5-0 while Steele is 17-3-1.

However, the team struggled to end the season as they lost to Reagan 2-0, barely beat Roosevelt 2-0, and lost to Johnson 1-0, ultimately dropping them to the 3rd seed in district.

The two teams have already played this year in the NEISD tournament. That match saw Steele pull out a 1-0 win as they controlled the possession, handing the team one of their two non district losses. The question now is how much does that game really matter as the two prepare to face off nearly 10 weeks later. Probably not much, because these two teams, and coaches, already are very familiar with one another. This will be the ninth time that these two will play in the last six seasons,(Mac has won 5 of previous 8 matches) and the fifth time in six years that they meet in the playoffs(!).

Experience will play in the girl’s favor as seven seniors, three juniors, and one sophomore make up the starting 11, and every starter has played in a playoff game before. The most important player for the team is senior forward Kyra Falcone, who has tallied 26 goals and 7 assists in 20 games. A huge indicator for how well the team is playing is in the amount of touches and scoring opportunities that she gets and creates for the team. The defense and midfield control the pace of the game and the possession which is critical. Also, senior goalkeeper Mary Cardone will need to be flawless when called on as Steele boasts two players that have combined for 32 goals this year.

Last year’s meeting in the playoffs went to extra time, and this year the teams appear to be even once again. The game will intrigue, the atmosphere will be electric, and the players will hold nothing back.

They face each other tomorrow(Mar 24) at 7:00 at Steele High School.

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