With the boys soccer season in its final week of regular season play, teams on the playoff bubble must act now.

The Sussex Central Golden Knights have played solidly throughout the year, putting themselves within striking distance of a tournament berth. If they’re to do so, they’ll need to finish the season strong.

After making the tournament a season ago, the Golden Knights came back with optimism, and that mentality showed throughout the team.

“They feel like they can compete with any team that we will face, but understand that there will be no easy victories,” said head coach Kevin Cash. “They must stay focused and work hard as a team to reach their goal.”

Sussex Central opened the season splitting their first six games, earning wins over Delmar, Lake Forest and Delmarva Christian, but suffering losses to three top programs: Caesar Rodney, Cape Henlopen and Indian River.

Against CR, Cape and IR, the Golden Knights fell in each by just a goal. While each loss was tough to swallow, they showed in each game that they can play head-to-head with the kind of teams they’ll come up against should they reach the state tournament.

After a 3-2 loss to Indian River, the Golden Knights’ 3-3 season could have been headed toward a downward spiral. However, they put the losses behind them, going on to win their next four games.

In wins over Dover, Woodbridge, Milford and Laurel, Central outscored their opponents 15-1. Their 7-3 record put them right back into the playoff hunt.

The Golden Knights have an outstanding group of seniors who’ve helped steer the ship.

“Kel Ordonez, Samren Sam, Yordan Morales and Johnny Garcia all have varsity experience and have been doing a great job with the younger players,” Cash said. “They seem to be gelling at a very fast pace.”

After a big Henlopen North matchup with an improved Smyrna team, the Golden Knights will finish their season with two home games next week. They’ll host Polytech Thursday before their season finale Saturday at St. Mark’s.