Douglas in finals with 2-0 win | NevadaAppeal.com

Douglas in finals with 2-0 win

Joey Crandall
Nevada Appeal News Service

RENO – The Douglas girls soccer team will play in Saturday’s 4A regional title game for the third time in as many years after topping upstart Damonte Ranch 2-0 at Damonte Ranch Thursday in the regional semifinals.

The Tigers will take on Galena at

4 p.m. at Damonte Ranch in a rematch of last year’s state title game. The Tigers are now 12-1 on the turf at Damonte Ranch over the past three seasons.

“We’re adjusting to the size of this field,” Douglas coach Lorraine Fitzhugh said. “We like playing here, it’s been a good fit for us the last few years.

“It’s the same that we’ve seen the last couple years in the playoffs. We’re amped up, ready for the fight, but not connecting the ball like we need to be. I think we’ll get there though, it just takes some figuring out, some experience. When we do start to connect like we can here, it’s tough to beat us.”

Douglas got on the board in the 12th minute when Katie Dry chased down a long clear from Erica Macias inside the penalty box. Dry wrangled her way around a defender and placed the shot over the head of Damonte’s keeper.

“That was just a nice, paced ball from Erica that Katie was able to take advantage of,” Fitzhugh said.

Damonte started to break through with some pressure late in the first half and launched a series of five solid shots in about three minutes, all of which keeper Bri Randall was able to deflect.

Randall posted her fifth solo shutout of the season, making seven saves in the game. It was Douglas’ 12th shutout as a team and 25th in the last two seasons.

The Mustangs continued to pressure the Tiger net to start the second half.

“At the start, we were more physical and more on top of things and then we started giving away the midfield to them and they were able to string some good scoring chances together,” Fitzhugh said. “We had some tired players in the middle and we started rotating them in and out. It started to come back at the end.”

Douglas got its second goal of the night in the 60th minute when Lacey Marsh slipped a ball up the sideline to Dry, who carried 10 yards toward the baseline and made a pretty cross in front to Tia Lyons. Lyons struck the ball in the air and straight into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.

“That was a beautiful goal, both of them were tonight,” Fitzhugh said. “We’ve been talking about getting off more shots. We were averaging less than double figures in shots during the season and we’ve been working on being more goal-hungry. We want to make connections to that front third of the field and create scoring chances like we were able to do tonight.

“That’s starting to happen more often for us. There’s less hesitation, more focus on finishing. It keeps the opposing defenses on their toes and continually tests the keeper.”