The Maricopa Rams soccer team will play their last home game of the season this Monday against conference rival Florence, and history will be on the line.
The Rams have the opportunity to go undefeated in the regular season and secure a top bracket in the playoffs that will begin mid-February if they can pull out a win against Florence.
Florence is the second-rated team in the Rams conference with a record of 8-1; that one defeat was a 2-0 loss to the Rams earlier in the season.
“If we beat them or lose by less than two points, we are conference champions; if not, then it gets tricky,” said Rams head coach Jack Berg.
Berg is in his third full season as Rams head coach and has dramatically turned around a program that could be penciled in for only two to three victories a year. “When I got here we weren’t very good, but, by implementing off-season training and club play, the team has improved greatly,” Berg said.
Soccer has been played continuously for the past 10 years at MHS, according to Berg, and off and on prior to that. “At times the district had difficulties finding a coach or fielding a team so they just didn’t offer soccer,” Berg said.
However, in all those years of kicking around the white and black-checkered ball, a team never enjoyed the success this year’s team is having. “I think you would be hard pressed to go back in the history of all Rams’ teams, regardless of the sport, and find a team that went undefeated,” Berg said.
Despite all the success up to this point, that spot in history could vanish with a loss to Florence. “They are a good team,” said Berg.
Monday’s match up is going to be difficult for the Rams, who are hurting right now due to a string of injuries. Two of the team’s top players, Sammi Flores and Carlos Saucedo, are both out with injuries and will be game-time decisions.
“I don’t know if they are going to play, but, regardless, we are going to do our best to secure a victory,” Berg said.
Besides the Rams game at Florence on Monday, the team has one remaining road game Wednesday against a Miami team that has only one victory on the year.
“We just ask that all of the people of Maricopa come out and support this team,” Berg said.
If you go:
What: Rams Soccer
When: Monday, Jan 26, 6 p.m.
Where: MHS, 45012 W Honeycutt Ave
Cost: $5 adults, $3 students