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Lady Falcons ready for playoff challenge

PVL co-champs host Woodland Thursday in opener
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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After two years of playing the role of David versus Goliath in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section soccer playoffs, this season the Colfax Lady Falcons are matching up with schools more of their own size for the post season – well, sort of.

In the first season of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section moving to an enrollment based-format to decide its soccer playoff brackets, Colfax, with 785 students, won’t be facing a first round foe like Rodriguez of Fairfield and its 2,000 plus students like the Lady Falcons did in 2011 and 2012.

“It’s better but it’s not a true division four,” said Colfax coach Lefty Wilks about this year’s Div. IV playoff bracket which opens play this Thursday at home sites. “But we don’t mind playing up. We always have.”

Ironically, Colfax, which hosts Woodland Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in its first round Div. IV playoff match, has a smaller enrollment than five of the eight schools competing in this season’s Div. V playoffs.

However, because the Lady Falcons belong to the Pioneer Valley League, a  Div. III league for CIF playoff purposes, Colfax’s soccer team can’t drop lower than Div. IV for the post season.

In 2014-15, when the new CIF realignment kicks in, the PVL has been dropped down a division to Div. IV status.

Colfax, which grabbed a piece of the PVL soccer championship – its fifth league title over the past seven seasons – when the Lady Falcons blanked Bear River, 5-0, and Lincoln held Placer to a 1-1 tie.

“The girls earned a championship pennant and that’s great,” said Wilks. “To be still called champions is very important.”

Colfax received a No. 4 seed in the eight-team Div. IV field which other than the Lady Falcons or Placer, doesn’t include a league champion.

In Woodland, the Lady Falcons will be facing a squad that went 8-5-2 overall on the year and 3-3-2 in finishing third in the Tri-County Conference.

On the same side of the Colfax bracket, No 1. seed East Union of Manteca (19-1-2) hosts No. 8 Foothill (6-8-2). The Colfax-Woodland winner will face the East Union-Foothill winner next Wednesday at the home of the higher remaining seeded team.

On the lower half of the bracket, No. 2 Placer (10-9-1) hosts Dixon (12-9-1) in a match that will begin at 5:30 p.m. at LeFevbre Stadium. Dixon dropped a 5-0 match to Woodland earlier this season.

Elsewhere in Div. IV, Vista del Lago (11-4-2), the No. 3 seed, hosts No. 6 Livingston (13-5-3).