FALLON - Missed chances was the theme for the Dayton boys soccer team.
The Dust Devils fell, 3-0, to Elko on Saturday at the Division I-A tournament, although Dayton had numerous opportunities to score.
Elko opened the game with a goal in the first three minutes, but Dayton's defense held strong throughout the first half. The offense, meanwhile, struggled to find its flow but picked up the pace in the second half.
The Dust Devils used through balls and breakaways to pressure the Indians' defense, but could not convert those chances into goals.
"I think the difference you see is the growth and belief in themselves," Dayton coach Karl Watts said. "The longer they could hang with them ... then they see they can play with these teams."
Jaime Avila, a freshman, broke free early in the second half, but his shot from 18-yards out sailed wide right of the net. Minutes later, Jessie Garcia blasted a free kick from 19 yards over the Elko wall, but the keeper was able to secure the shot.
Avila had his best opportunity midway through the half when he weaved through the Elko defense to set up a shot from 15 yards. The blast, though, floated wide and left Dayton scoreless.
The Dust Devils nearly lit up the scoreboard when No. 2's shot was block by a pair of Elko defenders.
Elko scored its second goal after a handball was called inside the goalbox and put the game out of reach. The Indians added a third score with minutes remaining.
Defensively, Edgar Diaz held off the Elko attack with numerous saves including a pair of point-blank turnaways.
Despite the missed opportunities, though, Watts said his team displayed confidence and played up to its capabilities.
"This success is quite new," Watts said. "I think experience will ultimately calm them down. Once the defense was taking care of business then we can started being ourselves."
Dayton girls struggle
The Dayton girls soccer team was roughed up by Elko at the Division I-A tournament on Saturday.
The Lady Indians walked away with a 9-0 win, a game that they led 8-0 at halftime.
"I was happy with how the girls performed and their attitude," Dayton girls coach Jared Miklich said. "Elko is a hard team for us to play. We still have some defensive issues ... but I think it was an improvement from yesterday."