Douglas blanks Spanish Springs
The Douglas girls’ soccer team dominated every aspect of its first-round playoff game Saturday morning.
But, through the first 70 minutes, the Tigers had nothing to show for it.
That all changed with a late – and long – clear that broke sophomore Katie Dry loose downfield. Dry touched twice to draw the Cougars’ keeper to the left.
She then tapped it lightly to the right, giving the Tigers a 1-0 win to advance to Thursday’s regional semifinals.
“We didn’t want overtime,” Douglas coach Lorraine Fitzhugh said. “Overtime gives you a bit of that underdog factor. But we feel our girls our fit, strong and they are fighters underneath.
“We would’ve been confident in overtime, but you always want to try to get things done in the lesser time frame.”
Dry’s goal in the 71st minute essentially sealed what was a one-sided game everywhere except on the scoreboard. Douglas possessed the ball more than 90 percent of the time and outshot Spanish Springs 14-1.
The Cougar’s only shot came in the first two minutes, which Douglas keeper Brianna Randall made an easy save on.
The Tiger defense of Shannon Hubbard, Erica Macias, Cora Moody and Shannon Prinz did a fine job controlling the back, but Spanish Springs was content to pack its defense back with five to six players throughout the game in an attempt to slow down the Tiger offensive attack.
“We’ve been preparing ourselves for the other teams we’re going to see to do that,” Fitzhugh said. “On one hand, it has had an effect on our finishing, but on the other it’s put us in a situation where we just have to find a way. It raises our level as an offense and we have to do different things to spread the ball around.”
Douglas had no less than three shots bounce off the cross bar in the game – shots that otherwise would have gone in. The best shot came in the 20th minute of the game when Jessica Vega ripped a shot from the top of the box that bounced off the crossbar.
“We’re just missing a little bit of finishing,” Fitzhugh said. “Our shots are getting faster, harder and lower and you know sooner or later things will open up.
“There was definitely the potential to be more of a runaway game. It’s a gradual progression. I’m really happy with the overall fight the girls brought today.”
Fitzhugh noted the play of Alex Laing, Holly Downer, Tia Lyons and Vega for their efforts in controlling the middle and creating plays up top.
Douglas will take on either Galena or Elko on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Damonte Ranch. The winner there advances to the regional championship game on Saturday, while the loser gets one more shot at state by dropping to the third-place game, which will also be played on Saturday.