Nobody likes to lose. But every once in a while, a well-timed loss can make all the difference.
Tech hopes that’s the case as the Roadrunners open the Sunrise Region soccer tournament today at Bettye Wilson Park.
Tech won the Southeast League title for the second consecutive year. But the Roadrunners went undefeated in the league last year only to lose their first postseason game.
This year Tech dropped two league games.
“Our guys were a lot more overconfident last year going into the playoffs,” Tech coach Josh Jones said. “(The losses) were a good wake-up call for us, knowing that we’ve got to play a lot harder going into the playoffs.”
Tech (11-3-2) plays Chaparral (8-4-4), the team that knocked it out of the playoffs last season, at 6 p.m. today. In other first-round Sunrise matchups, Eldorado (9-3-4) plays Green Valley (15-1-4) at 4 p.m., Coronado (7-4-5) plays Valley (9-4-5) at 4 p.m., and Silverado (6-6-4) plays Las Vegas (12-4) at 6 p.m.
The Sunset Region tournament also begins today at Bettye Wilson.
Arbor View (9-4-5) plays Clark (12-3-3) at 4 p.m., Bonanza (9-4-4) plays Palo Verde (14-2-1) at 4 p.m., Cimarron-Memorial (7-7-4) plays Bishop Gorman (17-0-1) at 6 p.m., and Western (9-6-2) plays Centennial (17-0-1) at 6 p.m.
Tech sweeper Luis Carranza said the team is looking for more than just a league title this season.
“Last year we got too confident because we got the division champs and all that,” Carranza said. “This year, yeah, we got the division, but we didn’t really celebrate like last year. We’re waiting for state.”
Jones said this year’s team isn’t that different from the one that lost 2-1 to Chaparral in the quarterfinals a year ago.
“We had about the same talent on the field,” Jones said. “You would hope they would learn from that (loss). I think they took things a lot more serious.”
Defense has been the key for Tech this year with the Roadrunners posting nine shutouts. But Jones worries that his team won’t produce enough on the other end.
“Our biggest weakness is just finding the back of the net,” Jones said. “We had scoring opportunities; we just didn’t finish. Defense helps you in the playoffs, but you’ve got to find a way to score.”
Carranza said last season’s loss to Chaparral has the team ready.
“We’re pretty hungry,” he said. “These guys want to go all the way to state.”