The Midlothian High School boys varsity soccer team fell to Southlake Carroll High School 2-0 during the bi-district round of the 6A playoffs on Friday.
Despite the loss, Panthers head coach Austin Guest said his team is geared to make a deeper run next year based on its strong play this season.
“We certainly didn’t underestimate a team that had scored 39 goals in 12 district games. Our success this season has rested on our ability to work hard, cover for each other and out ‘team’ our opponents who often are better on average individually,” Guest said. “SLC was a great team that had some fantastic individuals who were able to break us down.
“Unfortunately, we fell a little shorter covering for each other than we’ve been able to most of the season.”
The last year the Panthers made the soccer playoffs was 2013. They missed the playoffs and ended the 2014 season 3-17-2 overall and 3-7-2 in district play, allowing 48 goals and scoring 32.
This season, the team made the playoffs, placing second in district. They allowed 14 goals and scored 39 — a +41 change in goal differential from last season.
“If you look at the differences between last year and this year, they have accomplished more and shown more improvement than most teams in the state this season,” Guest said. “They don’t have anything to hang their heads about. It’s been a great adventure.”
The Panthers will retool in the offseason, losing several key seniors, but will have a pool of close to 1,800 students to help replace the leadership and talent that will be lost.
“The season ended earlier than we wanted it to, and sometimes, that’s the way life works,” Guest said. “It’s always hardest to lose the seniors, because every single one them has contributed a great deal to the program as both players and teammates.”