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March 25, 2014

HUNTSVILLE SOCCER — Hornets poised to make another playoff run

HUNTSVILLE — Heading into their first playoff game on the new field at Huntsville High School, the Hornets are just worrying about the elements they can control.

Huntsville’s boys soccer team (16-3-5 overall, 8-1-1 District 39-4A) opens postseason action at home tonight against Tomball after winning a third consecutive district title. But the Hornets have long thought past district honors. Going back to last season’s disappointing first-round loss, Huntsville has considered what it takes to win big.

It’s the “controllables,” as head coach Robert Taylor put it. Attitude, energy and effort is where it starts for the Hornets in pursuing the results they have hoped for in the past couple of years.

“If you do what you can control, what else is there really to talk about?” Taylor said before Monday’s practice.

Senior goalkeeper Fernando Varela wants to finish the season without regrets. Especially as seniors, Varela and team captain Marcos Moreno realize the end of their high school careers is getting closer.

Attitude, energy and effort are attributes neither of them can afford to play without.

“You’ve got to leave everything you have on the field,” Varela said. “You can’t just leave the game and say what you could’ve done. You’ve got to make sure everything you could’ve done, you did. We don’t want to leave anything undone.”

This is a more mature Hornet team than it was at the beginning of the season. After mostly breezing through the district schedule, the Hornets know where to find each other on the field and the patterns of their teammates.

Senior Ivann Amaya leads Huntsville in scoring on the season with 16 goals. Junior Luis Blanco has nine goals this season, while seniors Alejandro Ramirez and Moreno have added eight and seven goals, respectively.

They will have to play one of their better games to beat Tomball. The Hornets want to keep the field compact to deny the Cougars opportunities to spread the field and get loose.

Tomball beat Magnolia last Wednesday to clinch a berth into the playoffs before knocking off New Caney on Friday in a warm-up game.

The Hornets feel like the most important thing to relieve nervousness or stress is to just be prepared and ready go all out.

“We’re going to give it everything we have and find it in ourselves to push harder than we ever have before,” Moreno said. “It’s just something that we’re hungry for and we’ve got to keep pushing.”

Tonight’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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