Despite the cold, the clouds and the rain rendering the nearby athletic field unusable, Port Chester's varsity soccer team held an energetic practice Thursday afternoon.
On the eve of their first playoff game, the Rams took practice indoors, running drills in the gym at Port Chester High School. Despite the significance of today's game, the players laughed and joked as they practiced.
Port Chester enters the playoffs today as the heavy favorite -- they're the top-ranked team in the state in Class A, coming off a perfect 16-0 season.
But they're not celebrating early. The Rams say the regular season simply validated what they already knew -- that they can be state champions.
"It really doesn't matter, that's behind us," said 16-year-old striker Brian Coyt. "But we know we have what it takes."
What they didn't know as of Thursday was who they'll face this afternoon. As the Rams practiced, their two potential opponents -- Hendrick Hudson and Riverside -- were engaged in a one-game playoff for the chance to take the field against Port Chester.
"It's kind of difficult...you can't scout that game because obviously you want to have practice," said Rams Coach John Cafaldo. "But right now, we're just going about prepping as we usually would."
Cafaldo said he's been reminding his players that "16-0 is a great thing, but one loss sends you home."
"We're not trying to change what we do," he said. "We don't get too full of ourselves and we try to work hard every game. Hopefully it carries over tomorrow and for four or five more games."
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