SOUTH LAKE TAHOE - Douglas High girls soccer coach Fred Schmidt thought that South Tahoe would be one of the four playoff teams from the Sierra League and, perhaps, might even challenge the Tigers this season.
After Douglas tore apart the Vikings 5-1 on Tuesday afternoon at South Tahoe Middle School, Schmidt still thinks that. But there was no way South Tahoe (4-3 overall, 2-3 league) was beating the Tigers yesterday. Not after Reno handed Douglas a 1-0 loss on Saturday, dropping the defending Northern 4A champs from first to third in the Sierra League standings.
"Obviously, we needed a wake up call after what happened Saturday against Reno," Schmidt said. "We came out pretty fired up. I felt bad for South Tahoe. They just caught us at a bad time. I don't think we're 5-1 better than them."
But judging by their play in the first half, the Tigers were several goals better. Tracey Hawks scored the game's first goal just 39 seconds into the game, the quickest goal ever in the program's history. But even more amazing was that Douglas had two other shots before Hawks' goal.
"We came out motivated today and determined," Schmidt said. "It's a good sign because that loss to Reno dropped us to third, so I wasn't sure how the girls would respond."
In the 28th minute, Kali Schmidt beat the entire Viking defense, putting up the Tigers up 2-0 with a shot that beat South Tahoe goalie Lindsay Douglas. And at the end of the first half, Amber Gwinn, who missed Saturday's game with Reno because of a sprained ankle, scored off Lindsee Porter's indirect kick into the penalty box, which gave the Tigers a 3-0 halftime lead.
Gwinn injured her left ankle on Friday, the day before the game vs. Reno. It's now the fourth time she's injured that ankle. Schmidt considered her not playing her against South Tahoe, but opted to give her minimal playing time. Schmidt also thinks the halftime margin could've been worse.
"Our finishing left a little to be desired and Amber's definitely not at 100 percent," said Schmidt of Gwinn, who led the team in scoring as a junior. "I almost didn't play her because we need her for the rest of the season, but I guess it paid off for us."
Two minutes into the second half, Porter's goal off a Rebecca Wallstrum cross solidified that the rout was on. But in the 55th minute, Jenn Galea scored the Vikings only goal, beating Douglas goalie Mallory Moore. Moore got her hands on the shot, which wasn't struck that well, but seemed to surprise her. After all, Moore hadn't seen a shot until that point. South Tahoe only had four shots on goal in the game, all of them coming in the second half.
Hawks scored the final goal late in the game. Coach Schmidt was happy to see Hawks be more aggressive in the offensive third.
"Tracey has been really unselfish or has been taking one extra touch around the goal, so I was glad to see her score two goals that were both quick shots," Schmidt said. "It was the result we wanted but we didn't have as much possession as I would've liked. There was a lot of airball going on but we settled down as the game went on."
Douglas (5-1-1, 3-1-1) hosts Wooster on Saturday at 11 a.m.