Panama City Beach, FL---Saturday night marks the home finale for the Panama City Beach Pirates soccer team, and it's a big match indeed.
The first place Pirates are sporting an 8-2-1 record following the win and the tie in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers Sunday and Tuesday respectively.
That has them atop the Southeast Division of the Premier Development League by a single point over Ocala.
Saturday night it's another match against Fort Lauderdale with the chance to at least clinch a tie for second place.
Remember the top two teams in each division go to the P-D-L playoffs. Pirates coach Greg DeVito says he's not surprised at his team's position this late in the season.
"At the beginning of the season we knew that we wanted to improve things from last year and we made the necessary adjustments to do that. The guys' mentality has been awesome. So every step of the way from the season, it's been very nice seeing the progression, the development. And we've actually been doing real well. So not really surprised as to where we are on the table, but we're happy to be there.
As for the differences between that first year team and the 2013 squad?
"We finished middle of the table last year" DeVito Says "and we brought in a few different players to try and improve the squad. And they certainly have. As well as the level of expectation has been raised since last year. Second year coming in we wanted to make improvement. So the style of play, the philosophy has been the same but the standards been raised a little bit. The training's been good, the matches have been good and the results have been even better."
That match Saturday night at Gavlak set for 7:15, then it's two more matches on the road in Tampa and Plant City.
If they win two of the final three, they're in the playoffs.