Douglas soccer beats Wooster
A little more than a week ago, the Carson and Douglas boys soccer teams were fighting simply to stay alive in the hunt for the playoffs.
Tuesday night, both teams punched their ticket into the Northern 4A Regional Championship game, scheduled for Saturday.
Carson upset defending champ South Tahoe 1-0, and David Sturgess had a goal and an assist to lead Douglas to a 2-0 win over No. 2 seed Wooster High at Carson High in the regional semifinals.
“We’re playing the best we can play right now,” Douglas coach Phil Sheridan said. “We are moving the ball well, getting great opportunities. They stuck in there fought hard like this all year and now we get to play Carson again.
“How much more fun can it get?”
Douglas has been playing aggressive and fundamentally sound soccer through the first two rounds of the playoffs, while defenders Justin Norvell, Colten Mellows and Jeff Spencer kept goalie Chris Aguilar from even having to face a shot in the first half Tuesday night.
Aguilar, however, came up with a few fantastic saves in the second half to post his second shutout of the playoffs.
Wooster and Douglas played to a scoreless tie through the first half, but Douglas came out attacking in the second. The Tigers simply dominated possession of the ball and Sturgess broke things open in the 44th minute.
Stugess put in a beautiful shot from the top left corner of the penalty box that arced in just below the crossbar to put the Tigers up 1-0.
In the 67th minute, Sturgess crossed the ball in to Mike Gransbery, who scored the clincher.
Douglas proceeded to basically play keep away through the final 13 minutes, holding off the speedy Wooster forwards from making any true attacks on the net.
“I’ll tell you what, (Wooster) coach Chris Stirrup is just such a classy guy,” Sheridan said. “He is one of the best coaches in the league and seeing how far he has taken these kids, I think he honestly deserves coach of the year.”
Douglas and Carson square off at noon Saturday at Carson High School. Carson won the first matchup between the two teams this season on a late goal, and utilized a late goal in the second matchup to salvage a tie.
“This is where we wanted to be,” Sheridan said. “This is our chance. It doesn’t matter who we play, we didn’t care about that. We just wanted to be there.
“I knew they could do it, we played the same way through the whole first half of the season.”