Girls soccer: Bobcats seeing perilous landscape
In a district where Cy-Fair and Cy Creek have dominated the top spots year after year, additional playoff hopefuls are beginning to line up.
"The district is becoming more competitive," Cy-Fair coach Chad Onhaizer said. "There are now five or even six teams that have a legitimate shot at the top two or three spots, and overall, that's really good for the district because it will make the (four) teams that do advance to the playoffs even better and more prepared."
Onhaizer's Lady Bobcats are the defending district champs having beat out (in order) Cy Creek, Cy Woods and Langham Creek last season.
The 17-5A lineup also includes Cy Falls, Cy Lakes, Cy Ranch, Cy Ridge, Cy Springs and Jersey Village, and several of those schools could make a run at the postseason, according to Onhaizer.
"For the longest time, our team and Cy Creek have traded off as district champs, but now there are some other teams that may be in position to step up," he said. "It's going to be a very interesting district race, and also a great battle in the Region 3 bracket with outstanding teams like Clear Lake, Clear Brook, Seven Lakes, Cinco Ranch, Fort Bend Austin and Clements coming into play, along with a few others.
"We graduated four players who were pretty important to us, but we've moved some people around to fill the holes, and as a team, we're still jelling."
Junior attacking midfielder Lynsey Curry (Texas State) recorded a hat trick in a 3-1 season-opening victory against Pearland at the Humble ISD Invitational last week, and along with sophomore forward Hannah Dauzat, the Lady Bobcats have two of their top three scorers returning from last season.
Defender Lindsey Wells and senior midfielder-forward are team captains and part of a starting lineup that also features sophomores Mallory Majewski (goalkeeper) and Kristen Ginsburg (midfielder-defender), juniors Kylee Mann (forward) and Lauren Wilmer (defender-attacker), senior forward Cailyn Trapani (St. Edward's), and freshmen Chandler Cooney (midfielder) and Lauren Gilbert (defender).
"We have a nice mix of returning players and those who are new to the varsity," Onhaizer said. "We're looking at different combinations right now during tournament play and it's all about being prepared for district."
The Cy-Fair girls competed in the Humble event last week and recorded wins over Pearland 3-1 and Klein Collins 1-0, and a 0-0 tie against Friendswood.
The Lady Bobcats are in this week's Katy ISD I-10 Shootout and open with Memorial at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, at Katy Taylor High School.
District co-members Cy Woods, Cy Creek, Langham Creek, Cy Ranch and Cy Lakes are also at the 48-team Katy tournament, but are playing in separate brackets at other locations.
"The district will be well represented, but we probably won't get to see any of them unless some of us end up in our bracket finals at Rhodes Stadium on Saturday (Jan. 22)," Onhaizer said. "We might try to do a little scouting, but it all depends on how everything plays out."
Cy-Fair hosts Tomball at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, and entertains Deer Park at 7 p.m. on Feb. 1 before heading into its 17-5A opener with Jersey Village at 7 p.m. on Feb. 4 at home.
"We'll have a zone schedule like in basketball, so we'll play some of the district teams only once," Onhaizer said. "We started that last season because if we played all 10 district teams twice, there would be very little time for a predistrict schedule."
Onhaizer has led the Lady Bobcats to the playoffs in all seven of his seasons as head coach and the run includes four district championships and two trips to the region tournament.
He served as an assistant with the Cy-Fair boys and girls teams before taking over the Lady Bobcats during the 2003-04 school year.