When Manchester Academy hosts Laurel Christian for Thursday's soccer game at 4 p.m., it won't just be the most important game so far this season.
It could be the most important game so far in the history of the program.
MA's girls soccer team is enjoying unprecedented success, and the Lady Mavericks are shaping up to be a legitimate contender for a title.
Laurel Christian has plans of their own to compete for a title, and Thursday's contest will affect postseason rankings as the teams battle for the number one spot.
"This is going to be such a big game for us," said MA head coach Jacob Iles. "We need a big crowd here to support our team. Anyone who enjoys seeing a good soccer game will enjoy this game."
The Lady Mavericks are 6-1-1 overall and 4-0 in district play. In those four district games, Manchester has outscored the opponents 17-1.
"We haven't scored this many goals since I've been here," Iles said. "We are playing really well offensively."
Leading the way offensively for Manchester are Anna Kate Griffin, Ivy Sowell and Sydney Porter.
MA also boasts a strong defense.
On defense Annsley Smith, Thea Trammell and Ellie Grace Merrell lead the back.
Lanie Potter has been effective at goalie all season.
On Saturday Manchester earned an impressive win at Copiah Academy.
"We fell behind 1-0 early, but then we scored six straight and beat them 6-1," Iles said.
This week's contest with Laurel Christian will be the toughest challenge so far this season.
"They control the ball very well," Iles said. "They are skilled, and they can score. They are tremendous passers."
The Lady Mavericks host Laurel on Thursday at 4 p.m. and then travel to Laurel on Monday. The outcome of those two games will likely determine the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the postseason tournament.
"If we want to try to win our district and secure the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs, the road goes through Laurel Christian," Iles said.
Securing the No. 1 seed would ensure that MA hosts two playoff games if they win the first round.
"We have a great team this year with nine seniors on it, and this is just one of those times when you have to set your sights on winning the title and just go for it," Iles said.