Soccer team prepared for playoffs
On paper, the Packers' girls soccer team had a fantastic season, losing just one game and playing to two draws.
However, when your regular season takes place in a span of two weeks in a conference with plenty of tough teams, that fantastic season unfortunately equates to only a No. 4 seed come playoff time.
Despite that, the 4-1-2 Packers are happy with their performance in 2013.
"I thought we've played really well," starting goalkeeper and captain Amy Archibald said. "We stayed strong as a team and held our own in both halves of the season."
"The girls have really shown a lot of promise," head coach James Moe said. "We have competed against the best. Even though we lost to Davies, we played really well and we had our opportunities."
A major strength for this team -- aside from Archibald's skill in goal -- has been the team's depth on the roster.
"We've improved a lot since last year, and the younger classes are really stepping up," senior Cailey Sauvageau said. "We work so well as a team."
"The balance we have from starters to bench players is very strong," Moe said. "We don't miss a step. The younger girls have stepped up and played extremely well for us, and we have moved around some players and been successful."
One of those players moved around is Sauvageau, who was moved from midfielder to defenceman and has been "stellar" on the back line, according to Moe.
The Packers will take on the No. 5 Fargo South Bruins tomorrow night in the first round of the Eastern Dakota Conference tournament, a game that Moe will not take lightly.
"Everyone is pretty good," Moe said. "We could win or lose on any given day. It's tough competition and we can't come soft at anyone, but all I care about is South. If we look past them, we will make mistakes. To go to state, we have to win two out of three this weekend, so that's our top priority.
The team will have a full weekend that will likely see them taking on the top-ranked Shanley Deacons, but they are confident that they can persevere.
"We have to come out strong right away,but we are definitely prepared for it," Archibald said. "We really have to focus on that first game and adapt to conditions we're given."
"We will play our hardest," Sauvageau said. "This could be our last chance to show we are a good team, and we will step up and show everyone that we're ready."
Moe agrees that the Packers are prepared, thanks largely to the team's chemistry and consistency.
"This is one of the stronger teams that I have coached in the last few years," Moe said. "They are very connected and unified. There are things to work on, of course, but we are pretty consistent. I'm so proud of the way they play and the way they come out and approach practice and games. You can tell they are ready to go, and that's a good feeling as a coach when you can see it on their faces. They want to do well and they want to be victorious."