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4:32 AM Sat, Dec. 15th

Despite loss, Volunteers cling to soccer playoff hopes

KINGMAN - Lee Williams saved the best for last despite falling to No. 5 Buckeye (9-2, 7-0) Wednesday in Buckeye, 5-0.

"It was the most heart and purest 80 minutes of soccer I've seen from this team all year," said LWHS boys soccer coach Ray Tapia.

The loss for Lee Williams (6-5-1, 5-2) ends its regular season in third place in Division IV, Section I, while Buckeye is crowned section champs. The next battle for the Vols is waiting on the Arizona Interscholastic Association to release the brackets for the D-IV state championship.

Sixteen teams out of 45 make it to the season-ending tournament with five automatic qualifiers from the five sections. Lee Williams currently sits at No. 15, but plenty is at play.

"The AIA decided it would be best to extend my anxiety for another day," Tapia said.

Section V champion Apache Junction is ranked No. 20, so it is expected to be seeded No. 16. That will force the team ranked No. 16 down a spot and out of the playoffs. Currently, that team is San Tan Foothills with a ranking of minus-2.3291. Lee Williams is ahead of San Tan with a ranking of -1.3581, but San Tan's final win Wednesday over No. 33 Gilbert Classical was not added into the mix in Thursday's rankings.

It will be for today's release, but it's impossible to determine if the win is enough for San Tan to move past Lee Williams or not for the No. 15 spot.

GIRLS SOCCER: Buckeye 3, Lee Williams 2

At LWHS, Sadie Serrano had two goals and Maddie Tribbett had an assist, but it wasn't enough for Lee Williams to end the regular season with a win as Buckeye (5-7, 2-3) prevailed, 3-2.

The Lady Vols (2-9-1, 0-4-1) wrapped up the Division IV, Section I season in fourth place. Overall, Lee Williams finished 2-12-2.