Douglas High girls soccer
Zoe Baligad (14) kicks home the lone goal of Douglas' 1-0 win in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals Tuesday afternoon against Bishop Manogue.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
The Douglas High girls’ soccer team had chance after chance to get an early goal against Bishop Manogue, but the Miners’ back line continued to escape the chances unscathed.
That was until the 67th minute when a Kylee Lash corner kick made its way into the box.
After initially being knocked around, Bailey Rozier tapped it over to Zoe Baligad, who put in the only goal of the game to give Douglas a 1-0 win in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals.
“I think I tope-tapped it to her. It was a beautiful corner kick,” said Rozier. “This was the one game we practiced corner’s before and we hardly ever score on these.”
The win puts Douglas into the regional semifinals and one win away from the state tournament, but the No. 2 seeded Galena Grizzlies stand in the way.
Douglas and Galena will square off Thursday at 3 p.m. at Galena High School.
First half chances
Though Douglas escaped with a 1-0 win, the Tigers poured on the scoring chances in the opening half.
Bishop Manogue’s goalie Danielle Taylor made several saves in the first 40 minutes to keep the contest tied at 0-0.
Twice, the Miners defenders were forced to clear the ball off the back line after Taylor had already made a diving save.
In the 18th minute, Tiger forward Seara MacPherson had two chances turned away, including a save off the goal line by a Miner defender.
Nine minutes later, Johanna Ruelas struck a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that was saved off the bar.
The following attempt by Beatrice Henry-Greard was also deflected by a Miner defender up and off the crossbar, before being cleared away.
“It was ridiculous,” said Rozier. “It should have been 4-0. I’m not sure how that happened.”
Rozier and fellow captain Campbell Dedmon both thought all the stops frustrated the Tigers, but may have also helped their approach.
“We did get frustrated, but that was also the extra push to clean up and finish better,” said Dedmon.
Into the Grizzly gauntlet
The Tiger players have heard it all.
They know it’s been four years since they’ve been able to score against Galena.
Douglas hasn’t been able to dethrone Galena since 2016.
Each of the last three seasons, when the two squads meet in the postseason it has been for a regional title and both have already clinched a state tournament berth.
That won’t be the case Thursday afternoon, as the loser will see their season come to a close.
“It’s our last chance and we are fired up,” said Rozier.
“It would be very poetic,” said Dedmon of a potential victory.
Getting that first goal against the Grizzlies Thursday would be a much-needed catalyst for the Tigers.
“Possessing, tiring them out and scoring first,” said Dedmon of the priorities heading into their third meeting this season.
Either way, both teams will be playing to continue their season Thursday afternoon.(Douglas High goalkeeper Kylie Martin makes a jumping save against Bishop Manogue in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals Tuesday afternoon / Ron Harpin)