Rangers look toward soccer regionals one goal at a time

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The Vista Ridge boys soccer team is taking the season one step at a time. 

First was the pre-district season where the Rangers lost two of three games and next is the district season, which begins in earnest this week. The regional and state tournaments are way in the future for the squad. 

“Our players have set up goals to make it to the regional tournament,” Vista Ridge head coach Sam Reed said. “Once you get there, you set yourself up to go to state.” 

Vista Ridge won two of its three games last week at a home tournament, falling to Southlake Carroll 4-1 on Friday before beating Midland Lee 2-0 on Saturday and Lamar 4-0 Sunday morning. 

The Rangers’ roster is unique because they’re stocked with a plethora of senior talent. Of the 22 players on the varsity roster, 15 of them are seniors and nine or so are regular starters. 

Reed said he was expecting one or two kids that had big offensive seasons last year come back and score the majority of the goals, but he’s been surprised with how the goals spread out across the

squad. 

Nine different players have scored for Vista Ridge this season led by Julian Romero with seven and DJ Small with four goals. Noah Hughes and Josh Benouis, while Toby Canann leads the team with four

assists. 

“It’s not just one or two guys scoring all the goals,” Reed said. “We’ve kind of put up numbers all around those guys. There are guys that come off the bench and have been able to score goals as well so that’s helped us out.”

Vista Ridge plays four of its first five games at home to begin the district season, hosting Leander Friday at 7:30 p.m. before taking on Vandegrift next Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Moving to 6A after winning the district title and falling in the second round of the playoffs a year ago, the Rangers will face tough competition all year. The Rangers will meet the Vipers, who made it to the regional semifinals and state finalist Lake Travis a combined four times this year. 

“If you can make it out of the district, which is tough, that prepares you a lot for the playoffs,” Reed said. “Every game in the district is a battle to get the playoffs, you’re used to closing games where you’re trying to find a goal or keep a team from scoring on you.”

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