Douglas High girls soccer
Douglas High's Helene Henry-Greard dribbles in front of a Bishop Manogue defender Tuesday night. Henry-Greard had a couple of shots on goal and was fouled in the box, drawing the Tigers a penalty kick.
You wouldn’t have had to pressure any of the Douglas High girls’ soccer team hard to talk about the toughness of playing the season’s first three games without a win.
Even though the Tigers only have eight games to mesh this spring, the senior leaders are seeing that come together after a 2-0 win over Bishop Manogue Tuesday night.
“It feels good. It feels really good. Coming off a loss, we wanted to get our confidence back,” said senior goalkeeper and captain Madelyn VonAhsen.
Tuesday night’s foundation
Right from the get-go, Douglas pushed the ball into the Miners’ third.
Seara Macpherson put the first shot on goal for the Tigers in the fifth minute, followed by a Bailey Rozier shot that was pushed over the crossbar by Manogue’s keeper in the eight minute.
The Miners were able to probe their way into Douglas’ half of the field, but it was mostly long counter runs that the Tigers were able to push back the other way.
Bishop Manogue’s Reagan Stephens used her speed to threaten the edges of the Tiger defense, but the back line held strong.
In the 34th minute, a Miner miscue led to a breakaway for Campbell Dedmon, but Bishop Manogue’s Sophia Starrantino was able to make a potential goal-saving tackle to break up the scoring chance.
Four minutes after Dedmon’s chance, the Tigers broke back in on the attack as Helene Henry-Greard was fouled in the box, earning a penalty kick.
Rozier buried the penalty kick low and to the left to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead just before the half.
Douglas needed 10 minutes to double its lead in the second half.
In the 50th minute, Rozier used a touch pass to find freshman Aleeah Weaver along the 18-yard box, who beat the keeper on a shot to the far post.
“We’ve had to adjust to it. We’ve brought some of the JV players who are doing great,” said senior captain Hannah Shaw.
The second goal brought the Tiger sideline to life, seeing a freshman score to put Douglas on the brink of its first win.
“One of our expectations when you’re on the bench is you have to be loud,” VonAhsen said.
Bishop Manogue had its best scoring chance in the 60th minute, but a diving VonAhsen turned away the chance, preserving her shutout.
Four more contests
With four more contests – and some of the regions toughest competition out of the way until the postseason – Douglas’ mantra is simple.
“The expectation for us as captains this year, we just wanted to win,” said Shaw. “Everybody knew that Douglas was the force to be reckoned with. Then we come out this season and it’s a lot closer, all the competition.
Though a tie results in a point, which could prove meaningful in a short season, draws don’t satisfy the Tiger seniors.
“We’ve tied two games and they didn’t feel like wins to us. They felt like losses to us,” said VonAhsen.
Both captains think some of the lineup shuffling and changes in practice routines helped with the offensive production.
Now, Douglas has four contests left to continue to find ways to finish.
UP NEXT: Douglas (1-1-2) will stay at home, hosting Reed (1-1) Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.