This season has been all about adapting for the Rose Hill soccer team.
Rockets coach Jerry Treat had only two returning starters from last season's Class 4-1A state runner-up, and he's been forced to tinker with rotations game in and game out.
But at 7-4-2, Rose Hill has done enough adapting to remain one of the best 4A teams in the area.
"I think we're just now getting settled with how we want to play," Treat said. "It's taken us a while. Every game you have to re-evaluate when you have so many new players in the mix."
On Tuesday, Rose Hill suffered a 2-0 loss to an opportunistic Trinity team (10-2) that is competing for a top seed in the regional against the likes of Maize South (10-3).
The Rockets will take on Maize South next Tuesday.
The Mavericks, unlike Rose Hill return all of their starters from 2009. Those are the same starters that won four games in their first varsity season. Now, first-year coach Brian Hutton has Maize South competing with the best teams in the area with an attacking, physical style of play.
Rose Hill senior Jace Dinkel knows the game will be a tough one.
"I think we can handle it," Dinkel said. "Our center backs are pretty experienced guys. We've got a lot of good club players at that back end. If we play well and play together as a team we should be able to hold them off."
Treat has been impressed with his team's ability to improve fundamentally.
"Our passing has improved a lot. Their ability to adjust has been impressive," Treat said. "When you only have two returning starters you have to play around with the lineup a lot. The first half of the season we had to adjust the lineup until we got it where we wanted it."
Key player returns for Railroaders — Newton has played six overtime games this season, so the Railroaders have had to work for their 8-5-2 record.
They have just about doubled their losses from last season's 16-3 team that went three games deep in the Class 5A playoffs, but Newton coach Scott Jantzi has had to battle a little more adversity this year.
The Railroaders haven't been able to score as consistently as they did in 2009, senior defender Missael Reyes missed four weeks due to a knee injury.
"He really communicates to the others on who needs to be marked up," Jantzi said. "He's solid in the back. That was a critical injury to us in the middle of the season."
Since Reyes' return, Newton has won consecutive games against Goddard and a tough McPherson (7-6-1) team on Tuesday.
It's final game of the regular season is against Campus Tuesday, a team that Newton beat in the Titan Classic.