The Golden Lions will enter the contest with a 5-0 record and on a four-game winning streak. The War Eagles are winners of five of their last six games.
“We want to finish the season strong because we know we are probably going to see St. Pius again,” Woodward assistant coach Andrew Diggs said. “They are most likely going to be pushing for that championship like we are going to be pushing for that championship.”
Last season en route to capturing the Class AAA title, Woodward defeated St. Pius 2-0.
“We want to come out and put a good performance in against St. Pius,” Diggs said. “So when it comes down to it, they will realize they are going to see us in the playoffs as well. And they know when they come against Woodward it’s not a pushover game or anything like that.”
The War Eagles had a nice amount of momentum heading into their region finale but Starr’s Mill got in the way of that last Friday. Fabian Garcia scored the game’s first goal but the Panthers would prevail with a 4-1 victory.
“When it came down to it, our passing wasn’t quite there,” Diggs said. “We just got to focus on getting passes because when we pass well we are a very dangerous team.”
After Garcia’s goal with 37:20 left in the first half, Starr’s Mill was able to pull even nearly 20 minutes later. Due to a questionable handball violation in the box, Jahmeil Curwen was awarded a penalty kick and beat Alex Robinson for a goal.
Early in the second half, Starr’s Mill took the lead for good when Tylan Jones scored on a header following Walter Hix’s corner kick with 31:28 remaining. After Woodward missed a chance to tie 10 minutes later, Hix gave the Panthers some breathing room with a breakaway goal.
Anthony Hoelle also tallied for Starr’s Mill.
“We got to move on from this game and realize that we are playing for a bigger picture,” Diggs said. “We got state coming up so we got to brush this game to the side and move on.”
Woodward will visit Greater Atlanta Christian on Tuesday.