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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Showdown Shutdown: Plano drops key match to Allen at district's midway point
Two weeks ago, Allen boys soccer was in a tough stretch as it allowed six combined goals versus Plano West and McKinney Boyd, picking up just one point in the process.
The defense has been addressed since then as the Eagles (2-1-2, 6 points) have posted two shutouts in the past week and moved into sole possession of second place in District 10-5A following a scoreless draw with third-place McKinney and 1-0 victory over fourth-place Plano Senior.
The win against the Wildcats came Tuesday night.
"Both teams had early chances," said Doug Adams, Plano head coach. "The game really ebbed and flowed."
The Eagles pulled ahead, 1-0, in the second half after being awarded a free kick from 30 yards on what Adams said, "was a questionable call."
The ball was fired to the edge of the 6-yard box and Allen senior Kevin Ptacek got there right before the Plano goalkeeper for the lone goal of the match. The Wildcats kept pushing, but were unable to net the equalizer in a 1-0 loss on the grass field at Ford Middle School.
"I think we had a little trouble with our footing," Adams said. "Ford has a beautiful field, but with the creek nearby and the mist, it can get a little slippery. The game got real sloppy in the second half and credit Allen for handling it better than we did."
That result propelled Allen to second while Plano is now tied with Plano East for the final playoff spot at the midway point of district.
"This was a pretty big game for both teams," Adams said. "Allen is battling for a (postseason) spot just like we are so obviously we wanted to win, but we also came in hoping for at least a tie."
Allen did Plano no favors there, but could help the Wildcats Friday as the Eagles, who will not be at full strength over the next week due to cards and injuries, host the Panthers at 7:30 p.m. from Ford.
Plano could, in turn, help Allen out as it travels to face a McKinney squad that is just one point back of the Eagles for second place in 10-5A.
"We need to be more consistent," Adams said. "We've been playing well, but not for the full 80 minutes."