The first step for the Purple and Silver on that quest will be against Galena on Tuesday, which it beat 3-1 earlier in the season. Spanish Springs coach Mike Faker said that win will not have much of an impact on the playoff opener.
"I've been coaching high school soccer for a long time. I think this is my 15th year and I've been to the playoffs almost every year and in the playoffs things are definitely different," Faker said. "That 3-1 victory may mean a little bit, but it doesn't have much baring on what is going to happen on Tuesday. It's a whole new season.
"They may change things up from the last time they played us. I think we can expect them to come out and do things a little bit different to throw us off, but you can't be sure. There are always players you have to look out for, but other than that we don't know what kind of formation they are going to come out in or how they are going to try to attack us. We just have to adjust and adapt to what happens."
While the Cougs will look to see what the Grizzlies bring to the pitch, Faker said the main thing SSHS needs to do is take care of itself.
"The main thing for us is to stay healthy," he said. "We've had a whole lot of trouble this season just staying healthy. We've had a lot of weird little injuries which were some big injuries, so that will be key for us. We still have some kids trying to nurse some things and trying to get back.
"Once we're out there we just have to play our game. We need to just pass the ball and mark up like we're supposed to and get to all 50-50 balls. All the teams will be talking about doing the same thing. We'll just see how things work out for us."
Finishing the season 8-5-3 earned the Raiders the High Desert's third seed and a date on the road with a tough task ahead -- taking on the Sierra League's No. 2 representative Carson Tuesday, which finished 13-1-2. Reed coach Jason Saville is not paying much attention to records though.
"Right now it's a brand new season," Saville said. "Everyone starts 0-0 and it's the first team to three wins to become the zone champion and represent the North in Vegas. There's a lot of parity in the league this year. Any given night could be anyone's game. It's a big week for us and we just want to go down there and capitalize on the opportunity that is ahead of us. We'll have to see which team shows up."
The Raiders met Carson once during the regular season on its own home field, working to a 2-2 tie in that contest. This time around Saville said the Senators will present even more problems.
"They have probably one of the most dynamic and explosive players in northern Nevada right now in Kenzie Tillitt," Saville said. "She was missing the first time around when we played them so we're going to have to keep an eye on her. They also have an outstanding goalkeeper in Emily Heller who it is going to take something special to beat her. We were able to do that twice in the first game, but we expect them on their home pitch to battle."
Although CHS was missing a number of important players during the first battle, so were the Raiders. Reed will be looking for key contributions from those players in the rematch.
"While they were missing people, we were missing some kids, too. So hopefully, those things balance themselves out," Saville said. "I think that our girls can take a lot of confidence from the way that we played against them. I feel like we gave them the two goals that they scored and if our defense can play tight and the players that are supposed to create opportunities are able to do that on Tuesday, then we feel that we can compete with anybody. We're just going to have to make sure that we bring what we know how to do or things can get ugly."
Although injuries left the Raiders shorthanded in the 2-2 tie, as well as throughout other contests during the season, Saville said he believes that will strengthen Reed for a possible playoff run.
"We fought through a lot of adversity throughout the season and I think that has brought out a lot of character. They've had to fight when a good player goes down. We'd get somebody back and another good player would go down, so they've just overcome a lot of adversity," he said. "I think the chemistry on the team has built up through the course of the season. These girls are fighting for each other and these last couple of weeks they've had a 'never-say-die' attitude. They just keep grinding and grinding."