When the playoffs begin, everyone is 0-0. Coaches tell their players that anything is possible and what happened in the regular season doesn't matter anymore.
And this is why coaches say that.
Wilde Lake's field hockey team finished the regular season 0-11-1. Hammond's girls soccer team came in at 2-10, with both wins coming out of county.
So what did each team do in its first playoff game last week?
Win, of course.
"I'm not used to winning," said Wilde Lake coach Karen Doerrler of her team's 2-1 victory over Lackey. "It was kind of a shock. I know it was a big relief to win."
Wilde Lake, which hadn't scored two goals in one game all season, plays host to Southern (AA) today at 3 p.m. in a class 2A South semifinal game.
Hammond's soccer team also will play host to Southern today at 3 p.m. in a class 1A-2A South quarterfinal. The Golden Bears beat Glenelg last week, 2-1, on penalty kicks. Hammond lost, 4-1, to Glenelg in the regular season.
"This was one of the highlights of my coaching career," said Hammond coach Dave Guetler, whose teams won state championships in 1989 and 1991 and was runner-up in 1993. "This one win has made the season so much easier to accept.
"I'm really happy for the girls. They never quit. I'm really proud of the way they handle themselves."
Doerrler feels the same about her team.
"I have to credit our captains, Jen Frieman and Alex Roe, for keeping the team from letting the losses get us down and giving up," Doerrler said. "They helped the team keep their spirits up.
"This team managed to lose without becoming losers, and the credit has to go to Jan and Alex."
Besides Frieman and Rose, Doerrler said Kendrah Johnson, Eboni Evans, Katie Troutman and Michelle Smith are playing well.
Guetler said Becky Bays, Kelly Workman, Emily Bielefeld, Amanda Sheplee, Ashley Decker and Lindsey Mitchell played well defensively against Glenelg.