Kase Kingery (26) uses his head to make a play for the SHS soccer team on Tuesday. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
That's all that separates the regular season meeting between the Starkville Yellowjackets and the Oxford Chargers on the soccer field.
It has been enough time for the Jackets to gain some momentum.
After losing a 2-0 at Oxford on Jan. 19, Starkville has won four matches and has gained some confidence.
The Jackets take that mindset into Saturday's Class 5A second-round playoff match against the Chargers. The starting time is 2 p.m. following the girls outing between the same two schools.
"The guys will be ready and kind of have a chip on their shoulders," SHS boys coach Brian Bennett said. "I'm expecting a pretty good game."
With Tuesday's 4-0 victory over Center Hill, the Jackets improved their overall record to 11-3.
Starkville senior Kase Kingery remembers the disappointing loss to Oxford, but knows if the team will go back and take care of business, it won't have that same feeling again.
"We want to go there, do well and to keep playing like we're playing," Kingery said. "We don't want to change just because we're playing somebody else. We want to beat them the way we play. If we play them like we did (Tuesday), we can get past them."
Bennett termed the play of the Jackets prior to the last meeting with the Chargers as "flat" and really doesn't expect that to be repeated.
"It seemed like the next game (after Oxford) against New Hope, we started clicking a little bit and it's definitely carrying over," Bennett said.
One of the keys for SHS in the win against Center Hill was keeping the pressure off goal keeper Addison Watson.
Watson has a front-row seat for what the Jackets do defensively and likes what he sees.
"It helped having the consistency at the midfield," Watson said. "Everyone was doing their job so it made it an easy job for me and an easy job for coach. It made our game looks so much better than we've been playing. I'm so proud of the guys."
Kingery believes if Starkville can keep playing the type of defense it has in the last week, it has a chance to advance to the third round of the postseason.
"Addison had very few shots on him (against Center Hill) so that's very good," Kingery said. "Defense was playing smooth, keeping the ball and moving it around. When they can keep that pressure off Addison, that's when the team gets involved and that's why we did so well."
(Editor's Note: A preview of the girl's match between Starkville and Oxford will appear in Saturday's edition of The Starkville Daily News.)
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