Tonight’s game between the Airline Vikings and Sulphur Tornadoes isn’t the first between the teams this season.
But there will be much more on the line than the last time they met.
The No. 7 seed Vikings (26-2) and No. 10 Tors (17-7-3) face off at 6 p.m. at Tinsley Park in a Division III playoff game with a spot in the quarterfinals at stake.
Airline defeated Sulphur 1-0 in a tournament in Lafayette on Nov. 17 in the first week of the season.
“I remember that they were really athletic, that they had a pretty fast forward and that they had a pretty organized back line,” Airline coach Sarah Yarina said.
Yarina wouldn’t be surprised it it’s another tight game.
“We’re going to have come out and play probably one of our best games,” she said. “We’re going to have to keep pressure on the ball and pressure them defensively, and when we get opportunities to score we’re going to need to take advantage of those.”
Sulphur defeated No. 23 seed Westlake 3-1, and Airline knocked off No. 27 Ruston 1-0 in first-round games last Friday.
Airline dominated Ruston, but the Vikings didn’t score until about 12 minutes left in the game. Matt Hanisee got the goal off a Chris Galvin corner kick.
Hanisee leads the Vikings with 25 goals. Galvin is the team’s assist leader with 22.
But Yarina said the Vikings’ success this season has been a true team effort.
“We’ve never had that one person we’ve relied on,” she said. “We have multiple people. That’s what makes playing us difficult. You can’t just guard one person.”