By Richard Greene
The Decatur Eagles soccer team will try to get a kickstart into the playoffs Friday when it ends the regular season at Burkburnett.
The Eagles wrapped up a playoff spot two weeks ago with a win over Wichita Falls Hirschi. But losses over Spring Break to Gainesville and Wichita Falls dropped the Eagles to the fourth seed in District 9-4A.
Decatur was to play district champion Wichita Falls Rider Tuesday in a make-up game.
Even with a win over Burkburnett Friday, the Eagles would remain the league’s fourth seed, said Decatur coach Nick Stokes.
The Eagles will open the playoffs April 3 with a Class 4A Region I area-round match against the winner of the game between the runnerup from District 11 and the third-place team from 12.
With a bye through bi-district, the Eagles hope it gives senior defender Taylor Spence some extra time to heal. Spence suffered a high-ankle sprain in the first half of the Eagles’ 2-0 loss to Wichita Falls Tuesday.
“The x-rays showed no break, so we hope he’s back by April 3,” Stokes said.
Decatur trailed Wichita Falls 1-0 when Spence went down. Without him in the lineup, the Eagles had to drop back one of the top forwards, Harry Boatman.
The day before, the Eagles fell to Gainesville 3-1. Decatur fell down 2-0 in the first half but cut the deficit to one before the Leopards added a goal late.
“We didn’t play well,” Stokes said. “We were missing some kids because of Spring Break.”
The Decatur Lady Eagles will be trying to nail down their first playoff berth Friday against Burkburnett. The Lady Eagles, who beat Burkburnett 5-2 in the first half of district, would get 9-4A’s fourth playoff spot with a victory.