A number of 4A Colorado Springs Metro League boys’ soccer teams are getting second looks at each other.
With the departure of Wasson, the league came up with a post-regular conference, round-robin tournament that doesn’t have any direct bearing on playoff positioning. That tournament take place of the conference tournament the league held last season.
Indirectly, this tournament could play a huge decider in qualifying for the playoffs and playoff seeding.
Mitchell won the regular season conference, going 5-1 in league play, the only loss coming to Mesa Ridge with a Marauders team that wasn’t at full strength, Mitchell coach Brett Humphrey said. Winning league put the Marauders into the postseason.
But when the two teams met again three days later, the Grizzlies (7-6) again won. While that second game doesn’t guarantee a playoff spot for Mesa Ridge, it is key in putting the Grizzlies in a slightly better position to possibly earn an at-large berth.
The top three teams from the CSML — No. 1 Mitchell (7-6), No. 2 Widefield (9-4) and No. 3 Harrison (7-4-1) — all secured playoff spots.
The round-robin tournaments gives those teams a chance to better their records and possibly get higher seeds when the soccer playoff brackets are released Sunday. As it stands, according to the latest maxpreps.com rankings (Oct. 8), which are used in aiding the Colorado High School Activities Association soccer committee to seed teams, Harrison was 29th, Mitchell 40th and Widefield 42nd. Mesa Ridge was 46th.
There are 32 playoff spots. Of those 32 spots, 24 are automatic qualifiers, leaving just eight at-large berths.
“We should get an automatic home game,” Humphrey said. “We should be at least a top 16 team (because Mitchell won its league).”
Widefield and Mesa Ridge, already natural rivals, meet Tuesday in a game that Mesa Ridge must win if it wants to climb in the rankings.
“It’s tough for them (Mesa Ridge),” Humphrey said. “They’re playing well right now. If they (beat) Widefield and (beat) Harrison, I think they have a chance of getting an at-large berth.
“The league is getting better.”