AURORA -- Adams City's soccer team was hanging onto a state tournament slot as of Oct. 21.
The Eagles, who lost to Hinkley 2-1 in Aurora in the regular-season finale, were in 31st place in the Ratings Performance Index, one of the criteria to determine the 32 postseason qualifiers.
The draw is due Monday, Oct. 25, and first-round games are Wednesday, Oct. 27.
Hinkley scored the first two goals of the Oct. 19 match in the first half, then withstood a late charge from the Eagles for the win. Josue Rascon, a sophomore forward, scored Adams City's goal with about six minutes left. The game ended as Hinkley goalkeeper Ernesto Burciaga Garcia booted the ball to safety in front of an onrushing Eagles' player.
"We always talk about it being a numbers game," Eagles coach Kevin Davis said. "Opportunities crate chances to finish. We've been awesome the entire season. We're averaging 20-plus shots per game, which is unheard of, but that's the style we play. We have a core of technically sound players."
Eight of the Eagles' players are wrapping up their third year of varsity level soccer.
"We have the best player in the league (Diego Flores, 19 goals, 13 assists, 51 points), and we have the best goalie in the league (Adrian Arriaga, goals-against average of 0.588 in 15 games)," Davis said. "So that kind of helps."
Davis said his team didn't execute the game plan.
"We knew what we were coming into. They were getting some of their stronger players back," the coach said. "We struggled in the beginning. As the game went on, we started to find our style of play. It was too much to try and come back from a two-goal deficit."
ACHS finished 12-3, 6-2 in the Eastern Metro Athletic Conference. It's the first time since 2012 that Adams City won as many as 12 games in a season. The Eagles won 14 contests in 2012 and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
A state tournament berth would be the second for ACHS in as many years.
"We don't care who we play," Davis said. "These kids have been playing soccer all their lives. Once the whistle blows, it's who can break each other down and create opportunities to finish. It just speeds up in the playoffs. Slowly but surely, we're turning the program back to where it used to be and into a winning tradition."
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