By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
The Rams soccer team has played a pair of close games against Carbondale this season.
Tonight, the outcome will end one team’s season. Carbondale traveled to Mt. Vernon and won 1-0 earlier this season. Then the teams engaged in an overtime thriller on the Terriers’ home turf with Carbondale again winning by a single goal.
“Anything can happen, that’s for sure,” Mt. Vernon coach Jeff Harrison said. “I expect it to be close and competitive. I expect us to be in a position to possibly pull off a win.”
Mt. Vernon enters the regional as the No. 3 seeded team with Carbondale as the No. 2-ranked team. Top-seeded Marion faces No. 4 Centralia in the regional opener at 5 p.m.
“(Carbondale has) to perform in front of their home crowd,” Harrison said. “They’ve got to perform with expectations.
“There’s a lot of things that could be going through those guys heads.”
Even though Mt. Vernon has lost both regular season matches, Harrison said his squad remains confident based on the close results.
“Not only have we had competitive games as far as what the score said when it was all over, but we know that throughout that time we were in it with a real chance to win,” Harrison said.
Mt. Vernon is 7-10 this season. Tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m.
“I hope my guys are physically and mentally prepared for the task at hand,” Harrison said. “I’m counting on their guys to be prepared too, and it will be a matter of which guys can execute what they want to do.”