Girls soccer fans following the exploits of Mosley in the Region 1-4A tournament beginning Wednesday might want to pay close attention to the action prior to the first water break vs. visiting Pace.
The Dolphins, 15-1-2, host the Patriots, 14-2-2, in what on paper should be an evenly contested quarterfinal beginning 7 p.m. at Tommy Oliver Stadium.
In other region games involving local and area schools Arnold, 12-12-1, travels to Gulf Breeze in 1-3A; Bay, 16-3-1 is at Wakulla in 1-2A and Port St. Joe, 10-5-1, plays at Maclay in 1-1A. All quarterfinals begin 7 p.m. local time.
Mosley coach Marek Betkowski said Tuesday that how the Dolphins open a match goes a long way in determining their level of play throughout 80 minutes, and sometimes longer.
“When the girls start with ball possession, using their skills and being calm it influences how they play,” Betkowski said. “The first 10 or 15 minutes sets up the tone if we can play the game we want to play.”
Mosley did not meet Pace during the regular season, but Betkowski said that judging comparative scores against top-quality teams such as Gulf Breeze the showdown appears to be highly competitive.
The Dolphins were extended to double overtime to defeat host Lincoln 2-1 in their district championship on Friday and Pace was edged 1-0 by Niceville in overtime. Lincoln plays at Niceville in the other 1-4A quarterfinal involving Panhandle schools.
Betkowski believes that being forced to the limit by Lincoln will be beneficial for his squad. Pace has outscored opponents 58-12 and feature high-scoring sophomore forward Hannah Abrams with 20 goals and Eleana Colvin with 13.
“I think mentally it will help us out against similar competition,” Betkowski said. “We have some juniors and seniors playing very well and having a big impact on the team, and the youngsters want to make a statement and set up the team chemistry for next season.”
Arnold, Bay and Port St. Joe all were forced to travel Wednesday because of placing second in their respective district tournaments. Victories very well could gain a rematch on Saturday in the region semifinals against those schools that won district titles.
All games 7 p.m. local time on Wednesday
Region 1-4A: Pace at Mosley, Lincoln at Niceville, Springstead at Fleming Island, Ridgeview at Lecanto.
Region 1-3A: Arnold at Gulf Breeze, West Florida at Choctawhatchee, Bartram Trail at Stanton, Bishop Kenny at Ponte Vedra.
Region 1-2A: Bay at Wakulla, Florida High at Pensacola Catholic, Episcopal at Fernandina Beach, Yulee at Bolles.
Region 1-1A: John Paul II at Franklin County, Port St. Joe at Maclay, Orangewood Christian at St. Johns Country Day, Christ’s Church Academy at The Master’s Academy.