The soccer season hasn't even really started in Seward, but it's already close to being over.
The Seahawks have yet to hold a practice on their field in Seward. Boys coach Wayne Humbert and girls coach Laura Beck don't expect to be on their field for at least a week.
The problem for that pair is the field for the Region III Tournament is already well on its way to being decided.
The tournament starts on May 14 and only four teams from the six-team Southern Division make the field.
Tuesday at Skyview High School, both Seward teams fell in a hole in their bids to be among those four teams.
The girls lost to the Panthers 9-1, while the boys lost to Skyview 7-1. Both Seward teams are now 0-1 in Southern Division play. The Skyview girls are 1-0-1, while the Skyview boys are 2-0.
"We don't have a field, so it's gonna take some time," Beck said after the loss. "It's tough. Every year we start out slow because we don't have our field.
"By the end of the year, we're playing a lot better, but we don't have a chance to show that because it's already too late to make a push for the region tournament."
Tuesday, the Skyview girls scored four goals in the first 11 minutes of the game to put it away.
Amber Kunz ended up with a hat trick for Panthers, while Maria Dempster had two goals and Nikki Flanders, Ginny Berg and Marina Holt each added goals. Seward also had an own goal.
"I told the girls before this game that to get into the region tournament, we had to win this game," Skyview girls coach Tony Lewis said. "It was 4-0 12 minutes into the game.
"We put it out of reach early. That's exactly what we wanted to do."
Lewis also said it is encouraging to see his squad scoring so many goals.
"That's always been our problem in the past," Lewis said. "Even when we've dominated the play, we've had trouble because we always have trouble scoring."
Lewis said it was particularly nice to see Dempster notch a pair of goals. The senior had never played soccer before this year. The Skyview coach also liked the play he received from junior Jackie Rainwater.
Seward's lone goal in the match came late in the first half, when Elsa Gaule scored on a pass from Juno Porchazka. Beck, whose team was without three starters, also said Emma Seigel did a nice job at forward.
On defense, Beck liked the play of Shannon Hohl and Hazel Wilson.
"That's not to say the others played bad," Beck said. "Everybody was out there trying to get something going."
In the boys game, Seward's lack of playing time on a field showed up in the Seahawks' vulnerability to crosses.
Time and time again, Seward's defenders would be drawn to a Skyview player streaking up the sideline, only to forget about another Skyview attacker sneaking in on the back side and awaiting a cross.
"That's something I talked about before the game and something I talked about again at halftime," Seward coach Wayne Humbert said. "It's something that you have to experience and learn from, though.
"Until we're on the field enough and experience it enough, we'll have trouble."
Kyle Eshleman, Tyler Thornton and Elliott Gauthier gave Seward the most trouble. Both Thornton and Gauthier had two goals and an assist, while Eshleman had a goal and two assists.
Also for the Panthers, Matt Stalnik had a goal, Trevor Barber had a goal, Sean Mallette had two assists and Chatchay Apaipak had an assist.
Seward managed to keep the game close for the first 15 minutes. After a Gauthier score, Seward's Blake Pullins took the ball at midfield and tore through the Skyview defense for a goal 12 minutes into the game.
"Those defensive breakdowns concern me," Skyview coach Dave Carpenter said. "In a game like this, where we end up winning by a lot, it doesn't seem like a big deal.
"But there's a lot of games that will be decided by one goal, so we've got to work on our defense and eliminate things like that."
In addition to the play of Pullins, Humbert also said captain Sean Chase played well at forward and captain Scott Hubbard played well in the midfield.
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