"That's what it takes to win a tournament like this."
The strategy has proved wise for Prager's second-seeded Lenape team, the five-time defending Coaches Tournament champion.
The team will have a quarterfinal showdown with No. 7 Rancocas Valley at home on Thursday.
And just like each of the eight teams remaining, RV is deep, talented from top to bottom, and capable of winning every time it takes the field.
"The team is excited to play and excited to defend the title," Lenape coach Kevin Meder said. "But right now, we have to put all of our focus into playing RV."
Of course, should Lenape (12-3) win its quarterfinal Thursday and semifinal Sunday, a rematch with No. 1 seed Eastern (16-0) could loom.
Eastern has already beaten Lenape twice this year, and has designs on being the first team, other than Lenape, to win the annual tournament since 2006, when Bishop Eustace won the title.
Since the last time Lenape played Eastern, a 3-0 loss on Oct. 1, Meder said he has seen some progress in his team, particularly in how his younger players are starting to jell in the offensive third of the field.
"We're starting to play with a little more consistency on the offensive end, and that's helping out," said Meder, whose team is outscoring teams, 16-3, in five games since losing to Eastern.
It has been a promising five games, sure. But just as the team doesn't live in the future, it's not about to focus too much on the past.
"We're just focused on playing as hard as we can," junior Courtney Norton said. "We need to play smart, win 50-50 balls, and play as a team. That's what it's going to take."
Boys' bracket. For all the parity that defines the boys' soccer Coaches Tournament this year, one thing seems certain: At its best, Washington Township is a force to be reckoned with.
"They're the team to beat," Cherokee coach Glenn Thomsen said. "They're the target this year. Every team is looking at them to beat."
Thomsen's sixth-seeded Chiefs will take on No. 14 Cherry Hill East in the quarterfinals. Cherokee has beaten and tied East this year. No. 2 Washington Township will play No. 7 Eastern. The Minutemen have tied and beaten Eastern this year.
The other side of the bracket offers just as much intrigue, with No. 1 Timber Creek facing No. 9 Moorestown and No. 5 Haddon Heights playing No. 4 Lenape.
Contact Chris Melchiorre at firstname.lastname@example.org.