PNG, Nederland coaches share keys to soccer playoff success

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, March 16, 2021

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The District 21-5A girls soccer seeding is set, and the playoffs begin next week. Port Neches-Groves finished the district season undefeated.

Nederland finished with a three seed under first-year head coach Aaron Tomplait. The Bulldogs went 14-6 on the season and 8-4 in district.

The Bulldogs will play Pasadena Memorial in the first round next week, Tomplait said.

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“Third seed is obviously not the seed we wanted, but it is great to be in the playoffs,” he said. “All of the teams at the top are first-place quality teams. It is a competitive district. This year was crazy with not knowing what was going to happen and not know what the next week was going to hold. We are just enjoying the run, and we feel like we are that first-place type team. We do not think that third place really reflects how good of a team we are.”

PNG won the district for the 11th time in the last 13 years. Head coach Aimee Bates is proud of the way her team gelled this year and looks forward to a deep playoff run.

The Indians scored their 100th goal of the season against Memorial last week in a 11-0 win to close the regular season. The loss knocked Memorial out of the fourth seed and playoff contention.

PNG will practice Tuesday before getting the rest of the week off for Spring Break.

Bates said this week’s practice is designed to make sure her team doesn’t lose anything over the break.

“We don’t want to lose what we have gained,” she said. “We did some technical stuff and do a full-field scrimmage. We do that so that we don’t have to use our time trying to get it back when we come back from break. Hopefully, this will keep them in check and then when we come back next week, we will have at least three days to get ready for our first match.”

With some games still left to be played Tuesday evening around the state, Bates said it was unclear exactly who PNG will play in the opening round of the playoffs.