Very little separated the Douglas and Galena high school girls soccer teams this season. The Sierra League rivals met three times with the combined scores evening out at 3-3.
Unfortunately for the Tigers on Wednesday night, Galena came out on top in the game that mattered most when Tatiana Hagan scored in the 18th minute for a 1-0 triumph in the Division I Northern Region Girls Soccer Tournament semifinals at Damonte Ranch High School.
Galena (12-3-3) now advances to the tournament championship game against Carson on Saturday in Reno. Douglas ended its season with a 14-2-2 overall record, with both losses coming to Galena. The Tigers defeated Galena 2-0 on Sept. 14 and then lost 2-1 at Galena on Oct. 12.
“Galena is a much improved team,” Douglas coach Jenny Jaggard said of the Grizzlies. “You’ve got to give them credit. They played very well and we came out flat. We just seemed to go away from our game; we went to a long ball game and our game is about possession.”
“I feel the first 20 minutes we had no control of what was going on out there — and the momentum went the wrong way from there.”
Hagan had a one-on-one opportunity in the 9th minute, however, Douglas goalkeeper Corryn Millett come out to smother the ball.
Hagan had better fortune on her next shot when the sophomore drove up the middle to beat two defenders and struck a grounder that glanced off Millett’s hands then trickled just inside the goalpost.
Douglas had its opportunities, including a stretch midway through the second half when the Tigers had six shots during a span of five minutes.
The best of those shots was taken by McKenna Kynett, who blasted a line drive from the left side, only to see Galena goalkeeper Greer Sullivan leave her feet and extend to swat the ball away.
The Grizzlies had a chance to extend its lead on a penalty kick with 11 minutes to go, but Brooke Cherry’s shot rolled wide left.
Despite the disappointing finish, the Tigers did enjoy success during a season in which they won the Sierra League championship.
“It was a great year,” Jaggard said. “We played with a lot of heart to the end.”
Note: Carson, a 3-0 winner over Reno in the other semifinal, will face Galena in the championship match Saturday at noon at Bishop Manogue High School. Both teams advance to the NIAA Division I State Girls Soccer Championships next week in Carson City.