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Playoffs begin today/ By CHRIS PRIDE – Bulletin Sports Writer

October 28, 2014

There are no guarantees in the playoffs and Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) head women’s soccer coach Larry Wylie understands that fact. He’s just happy his team at the very least was able to guarantee itself a home game to start.

The Patriots (10-8) host the USC-Salkehatchie Indians at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Smith River Sports Complex in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Region X quarterfinals. PHCC swept the season series, most recently 7-0 Sept. 27 at the sports complex. It won 2-1 in South Carolina on Sept. 13.A lot has happened since then, and Wylie said the Indians have played region powers Spartanburg Methodist, Louisburg and Cape Fear to closer games than his team has.“Playing at home is a definite advantage but we have to play well still,” Wylie said. “You’re always nervous in a win or go home game and know anything can happen. I’m hoping they play with us. I think if they play with us we can spread the field out and move the ball on ground.”If the Patriots win today, they’ll get another chance Spartanburg Methodist which has blanked PHCC 8-0 over two games this season. The semifinal match for today’s winner is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Louisburg College in North Carolina.The Patriot women hope the difficult schedule late can pay dividends in being prepared for the playoffs. On several occasions they had to play from behind and were in games by halftime, Wylie said, just couldn’t put two perfect halves together.“This last month has been tough and we’d panic if we got down early,” Wylie said. “We’d try to get the goal back quick and we have the talent to do that …We were playing our game and couldn’t capitalize on a few chances. We gave up a few early second half goals and then would start going long ball and we’re not that kind of team.”Over the last month, Wylie said his team has started to dribble too much. In the 7-0 win in late September the Patriots had several different goal scorers. Wylie wants his midfield play to dictate tempo and open up space for the wingers to get in behind the defense. He said USC-Salkehatchie likes to keep numbers behind the ball defensively and that movement on and off the ball will be necessary to break down Salk’s defense.Larissa Ayo, Taylor Flick and Monica Diaz are all viable scoring options, as are Avalous Barbour and Tovin Saleh. Barbour and Saleh also are key figures in sparking the counter and delivering balls into space.“(Saleh and Barbour) have to understand that it’s not about dribbling,” Wylie said. “We have to be able to pass the ball and move it around. The last time we played (USC-Salk) we moved the ball around like a pin ball; it was beautiful.”The 2-1 win on the road was a game called after 70 minutes because of darkness. PHCC had to break a 1-1 tie in the game and Wylie said his team played a sub-par game that day.

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Filed under: Women's Soccer

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