High school soccer is an 80 minute game.
And even though the Douglas Tigers maintained control most of the way on Thursday, Spanish Springs scrapped back to score twice in the final eight minutes to salvage a 2-2 tie in a battle between unbeaten teams.
Rescheduled as a makeup from Sept. 3 due to air quality issues in Western Nevada, the tie left both teams with 6-0-1 records for the season. Douglas faces another unbeaten opponent on Tuesday night when it visits Carson for a 7 p.m. matchup between Sierra League rivals.
A hand ball call in the final two minutes set the stage for Kirsten Lealtad’s penalty kick to tie the score for the Cougars.
This was a prime lesson on the importance of playing hard all the way to the final whistle, Douglas coach Jenny Jaggard observed.
“What happened in the last eight minutes, that defined the whole 80 minutes,” Douglas coach Jenny Jaggard said. “I thought we might have gotten a little overconfident, but give Spanish Springs credit. They wanted it and went out, made good decisions and got it at the end.”
Spanish Springs coach Mike Faker was pleased with the final outcome and comeback effort, especially since it came at Douglas.
“I kind of thought Douglas was the better team; they led the possession clock, that’s for sure and we made two big mistakes that led to their scores,” Faker said. “But our girls played and came back at the end … that’s the important part.”
Lexi VonSchottenstein scored in the 25th minute to give Douglas an early 1-0 lead that stood at halftime.
Douglas extended the lead to 2-0 when VonSchottenstein scored again. A long downfield punt from goalkeeper Corryne Millett set the play up. McKenna Kynett then fed a pass over the middle toward VonSchottenstein, who sped past the defense, took one touch to get past the Cougars’ charging goalkeeper and tapped the ball into an unguarded net.
“We had some good moments, we just didn’t take advantage of enough opportunities,” Jaggard said. “I would say we had possession 70 percent of the time, so if you look at the stats, we should have won.”
Instead, Spanish Springs began its comeback when Audrey Barham received a pass from Lealtad and struck a grounder from the right side to the far post that just eluded the fingertips of a diving Millett.
If the Tigers were going to let a win get away, better now than the big games of October and November, Jaggard admitted.
“We have to learn how to play in the close games where one mistake can really cost you,” she said. “I’m glad this happened today. We’re heading into Carson so we have some corrections to make between now and Tuesday.”
DOUGLAS 8, DAMONTE RANCH 0
The Tigers defeated Damonte 8-0 on Tuesday. VonSchottenstein scored 4 goals, while Alissa Holley, Silvia Fernstrom, Hannah Schweigert and Sam Crawford scored 1 goal each. The score was 4-0 at halftime.