Playoff preparation is in full swing for the Westlake girls soccer squad.
In district or outside of 15-5A play, the team just keeps on rolling through foes, and the Chaparrals (22-0, 10-0) took down Dripping Springs 1-0 Friday in a nondistrict game on a goal from Christy Goldberg in the second half.
With a week off for spring break, the close win was just what the undefeated team needed to get in postseason mode.
“The atmosphere was a good playoff atmosphere,” Westlake girls soccer coach Rennie Rebe said. “[Dripping Springs is] aggressive and feisty. I told the kids in the playoffs the goal is just to score one more goal than the other team. It doesn’t have to be pretty, or we don’t have to score this many goals. That was a good game for us because it put us in that mode.”
The Chaps have just two more games in district play remaining, at Lake Travis Tuesday and the finale against Austin High at Westlake March 22, both slated for 7:45 p.m. starts.
“Those games will be competitive and will help us going into playoffs when we shift gears a bit,” Rebe said. “The playoffs are about the grit and determination and mental toughness. It was a good start for us leading into playoffs.”
Without a loss to their record, the Chaps (22-0, 10-0) are still trying to reach their peak, which should frighten the rest of Class 5A.
“That’s not anything to be disappointed about – one goal is a win and you move on,” Rebe said. “It was a way for us to refocus a bit without taking a loss. Sometimes, you get that loss, and it refocuses you, but it was nice to have that without taking a loss.”
Goldberg, the team’s leading scorer with 26 goals, tallied her score a few minutes into the second half, and with the break looming Rebe sensed the team needed a little time off to get recuperated and refreshed before the last stretch of district play.
“We had a lot of opportunities [to score]; we just weren’t smart in the box,” Rebe said. “I think some of it was the fact it was right before spring break. The girls are tired; they’ve been going hard and heavy. We scored five minutes into second half, and I think the intensity dropped off a little bit after that.”
Kendall Ritchie leads the team with 16 assists to go with 10 goals while Goldberg has 11 assists. Rachel Coyle has notched 12 goals, nine assists so far, while Hailey Bishop has 12 goals and six assists.
Zayne Matulis (six goals, six assists) and Margaret Norman (six goals, three assists) have also helped the Chaps to their perfect mark, which includes 20 shutouts from the defense.
“It’s unusual to find the back of the net as much as we have,” Rebe said.
Already crowned the district champions, Westlake will face the bottom seed in District 16-5A in the first round of the postseason, with it likely coming down to McNeil (4-5-1, 13 points) or Round Rock (3-4-2, 11 points), though there’s an outside shot of it being Hendrickson (5-4-1, 16 points). The Chaps have scouted all three squads just in case.
“We’re prepared for any of those three,” Rebe said. “Of course, you’ve got to play, and that’s a whole ‘nother story.”
District 15-5A girls soccer standings (through March 11)
W L SO Ties Points
Westlake 10 0 0 40
Lake Travis 7 2 2 31
Austin High 6 2 2 27
Bowie 4 4 2 19
Anderson 4 6 0 16
Akins 1 9 1 6
Del Valle 0 8 1 1