Expectations were high for the Northside Grizzlies soccer program to start the 2012 season.
Northside stumbled in the 7A-West but 2013 has been a completely different year.
"There is a lot of talent and we are just trying to make sure that we plug all the talent together and that we give them a chance to win," Northside coach Mauricio Maciel said. "But definitely there is a quite a bit of talent and it is just a matter of putting players in the right position and teaching them how to spread the ball among themselves and make the ball work for them."
"Last year we weren’t really organized," Antonio Barroso said. "This year coach Maciel helped us a lot. Coming from Southside. We didn’t really feel comfortable at first but after the first few practices we really got used to him."
Northside is sitting with a perfect 11-0 conference mark this season with three games left before postseason play begins.
"This is nothing I expected to have," Allan Ramirez said. "Proud of my team. We’ve worked hard ever since the summer since last year wasn’t a great year for us. We wanted to reach something Northside has never done and I think we are doing it this year."
"I didn’t really expect we were going to go undefeated in the conference but I think we’ve got a good chance to go to even state," Moises Diaz added.
"It’s a big turnaround," Sergio Martinez said. "Last year we didn’t win as many games. We only won one in conference and this year we are undefeated. It’s a big difference."
Close games have become the norm for the Grizzlies this season and Friday's tilt with Conway was no different. Pedro Aldaco scored the game's lone goal midway through the second half to help Northside pull out the 1-0 win.
"What goes through my mind during close games is just determination," Aldaco said. "We want the top seed for the state tournament and hopefully we end on a good run in that state tournament."
The Grizzlies quest for a perfect conference season continues Tuesday when they host Greenwood.