Two goals in the final 9 minutes of the first half on Monday night put the Douglas High School girls soccer team on track to a 3-0 win against McQueen in the first round of the Division I Northern Region Tournament.
Douglas (14-1-2) went up 1-0 when McQueen (6-9-2) gave up an own-goal in the 31st minute and Alexis VonSchottenstein added an insurance score before halftime on a 30-degree night at Keith Roman Field.
The Sierra League champion Tigers now advance to the tournament semifinals and a 6:15 p.m. match today against Galena at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno. Galena (11-3-3) advanced with its 3-2 victory over Spanish Springs to set up a semifinal between rivals that split their two regular season matches.
“The last time we played Galena they beat us 2-1, so we’re going to have some serious competition,” Douglas coach Jenny Jaggard said, referring to an Oct. 12 match at Galena.
McQueen presented a challenge in its own right, vastly different from the contest three weeks ago when Douglas won 7-1.
“They wanted it badly,” Jaggard said of the Lancers. “They’ve improved a lot since then.”
The Tigers took the offensive from the start — they had five shots on goal in the opening nine minutes, including one that caromed off the crossbar — but couldn’t convert on the opportunities.
“We definitely did not start that game well,” Jaggard said. “But we finished well.”
The Tigers got a break late in the first half when VonSchottenstein fed a pass into the box to Caitlyn Bidart, whose shot deflected off a defender then caromed off the post and into the net.
Moments before halftime, VonSchottenstein won a footrace to the ball on the right side, beat a defender for an open look and buried her shot in the back of the net.
Douglas extended its lead to 3-0 with a last-minute goal by senior Ashley Hellwinkel, who came off the bench and played six minutes in the game. The goal was Hellwinkel’s first of the season.
“We’ve actually been working with her (to play) on defense, but I had a gut feeling we should try her out on offense,” Jaggard said. “I’m happy she got that score, and I think it could help us as a team. We’re trying to switch some things up for the playoffs just so teams don’t focus their attention on one or two players. I think it’s important to avoid predictability if you want to win a state championship.”
Defensively, goalkeeper Corryne Millet earned credit for the shutout — the Tigers’ fourth in a row — aided by a back line that only allowed the Lancers one shot on goal. Millet has had a hand in 11 shutouts this season.
McQueen goalkeeper Tina Farman had nine saves on the night.
Note: In other first-round matches on Monday, Reno (13-3-1) blanked Damonte Ranch 4-0 and Carson (11-2-4) defeated Reed 3-1.