Hulne: Packer soccer teams are hoping to make the playoffs count

Published 8:53pm Monday, October 7, 2013

It’ll be a big day for soccer in Austin on Tuesday.

The No. 7 seeded Packer girls will host No. 10 New Prague in a Section 2A tournament game at 5 p.m. at Art Hass Stadium and the No. 2 seeded Packer boys will host No. 15 Cannon Falls at 7 p.m. at Art Hass Stadium.

It’s fitting that the Packer boys and girls should play with their seasons on the line in back-to-back contests, because the teams might as well be mirror images of each other.

Each team relies on strong defense and strong goal keeping and each team will be in good shape for a postseason run if it can find consistent offense.

The Packers boys (5-6-5 overall) have shutout four teams this season and they’ve allowed just nine goals in their last 10 games. They haven’t allowed more than four goals in a game and they’ve allowed three goals or less in a game 14 times this season.

The Packer girls (5-7-1 overall) have shutout three teams, they haven’t allowed more than three goals in a game and they’ve held 11 of their 13 opponents to two goals or less this season.

Each Packer soccer team has also showed it can play with the best. The Packer boys fell to top-seeded Rochester Lourdes 1-0 in overtime earlier this season and the Packer girls played No. 3 seeded Albert Lea tough in a 3-1 loss earlier this season.

While each of these teams look the same on paper, they’re histories have been very different. The Packer boys have played in the Section 1A finals in three of the last four years and they earned a trip to the state tournament in 2009.

The Packer girls are a program on the rise, but they still haven’t scored that big playoff upset they’ve been looking for. They’ve won their first round tournament game in each of the last two seasons, but both times they lost in a close game to a much higher seed in the next round.

With 10 seniors on their squad, the Packer girls are hoping this is the year they finally put together a playoff run.

With eight seniors on their roster, the Packer boys are hoping to continue a strong tradition of postseason runs.

Each team takes its first step Tuesday night.

 Follow Rocky Hulne on twitter @RockyHulneADH.

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