Douglas boys soccer surges to victory | RecordCourier.com

Douglas boys soccer surges to victory

It was like a light clicked on a breezy Friday afternoon for the Douglas High boys soccer team with less than three minutes to go before halftime and the score tied at 1-all.

Juan Aguayo scored a goal with 2:36 showing on the clock to trigger an assault in which the Tigers scored three quick goals before the intermission on their way to a 4-1 Senior Day victory at home against Damonte Ranch.

Aguayo, a sophomore defender, also scored with 17 minutes left in the first half as Douglas (3-10-2 league, 7-11-2 overall) rallied from a 1-0 deficit to gain momentum headed into its final game this season at 7 p.m. tonight at Carson.

Friday's contest was critical for Damonte Ranch (8-6) in its bid to move up to third- or second-place in the Sierra League playoff race. Even though Douglas has fallen out of playoff contention, this was an opportunity to play the role of spoiler.

"They played composed … the seniors just showed they wanted it," Douglas coach Milko Vasquez said of his Tigers. "That's a good team. They have 14 seniors and they just beat Wooster (2-1 on Tuesday), so this was a great win for us."

The offensive surge seemed to have a snowball effect, Vasquez added.

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"It was a beautiful thing to watch," he said. "It's all about confidence. That's what happens when you score. When we play like that, we can play with anybody."

Aguayo broke the tie when he emerged from a scramble for the ball in front of the net to push in his second goal of the day. The goals were his first of the season.

"I think it was just our team putting in the work together," Aguayo said.

The Tigers added two more goals in the final two minutes to extend their lead to 4-1. Oliver Lopez took a short pass from Javier Vega to make it 3-1 and then Pedro Vega used the wind at his back to blast in a 30-yarder, assisted by Lopez.

Damonte Ranch still had a chance to come back with the wind at its back in the second half. The Tigers were up to the challenge.

Sophomore goalkeeper Luke Heinrichs had six saves in the final 25 minutes of the second half, the last on a shot taken inside the 5-yard box, to help the Tigers preserve their win.

Vasquez praised the defensive performances of Brennan Jordan, Koby Hinnant, Kyle Logan, Blake Rodriguez, Zach Kruse, Edgar Hernandez and Aguayo. The speedy Hinnant moved up to play on the front line for the last 20 minutes of the first half, then dropped back to play his normal position on defense during the second half.

"We did what we had to do," Aguayo said. "We're in the lead and we couldn't give it up. You've just got to put your heart into it … and our goalie did a great job of blocking those shots."

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