Douglas girls soccer secures repeat trip to state tournament |

Douglas girls soccer secures repeat trip to state tournament

Tigers clinch repeat trip to the state tournament

By Carter Eckl

CARSON CITY – Thanks to three saves from goalkeeper Madelyn VonAhsen in penalty kicks and one final goal from Molly Coverley, Douglas High girls soccer will be making a return trip to the 4A Northern Regional finals.

On top of advancing to the regional final, Douglas clinched a return trip back to the state tournament.  

Douglas and Damonte Ranch went 110 minutes without a goal in the 4A Northern Region semifinals Wednesday night at Carson High School.

Molly Coverley ended the longstanding draw with a penalty kick goal into the top left corner in the fifth and final round of penalty kicks, giving Douglas a 3-2 edge in the shootout.

“I think we have another chance to redeem ourselves because I really think we have a chance to win it all this year.”

Coverley scored the game winner, but it was VonAhsen’s three saves that gave the Tigers the chance to advance out of the do-or-die round.

“I was just like I have to save these. … I want to go to state,” said VonAhsen.

“I think I had a heart attack. We have to give props to our goalie because without her saves we would not have won,” said Coverley.

VonAhsen was tasked with making the opening save of the shootout as Mustang midfielder Shannon Murray pushed the first shot of penalty kicks low to the far post, but the junior keeper made a diving save to turn the shot away.

Bailey Rozier put the opening penalty kick for Douglas into the same spot, but the Tiger defender found the back of the net.

After VonAhsen stopped a second penalty, Douglas forward Madi Smalley buried her shot from 12 yards out into the corner to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead through two rounds.

VonAhsen posted her third consecutive save to open round three, but Douglas’ attempt to seal the game in the third round went over the top bar.

“She was super clutch,” said Douglas head coach Andrew Robles of VonAhsen. “You need a good keeper to block those shots and she helped our team out to get that confidence.”

The 110-plus minute battled needed more than four rounds of the shootout after Damonte Ranch scored its first goal of the shootout coupled with a Mustang save in net.

Coverley then put the game into the record books and punched Douglas’ ticket to the state tournament.

“I think we have another chance to redeem ourselves because I really think we have a chance to win it all this year,” said Coverley.

The Douglas girls will be returning to the state tournament, but for first-year head coach Andrew Robles it marks his first taste of the goal he has been vocal about since the beginning.

“It’s awesome as a first-time coach,” said Robles. “We were talking about it and now we’re there.

“I told you since the beginning I feel confident. The girls knew what the expectation is. It’s not a new team. I think they’re teaching me more than I’m teaching them at that point,” Robles said. “They’ve been there. I don’t think there are words to describe it.”

Regulation and overtime

Both teams had their chances to keep the contest from going into penalty kicks.

Douglas put three separate shots on goal that forced Damonte Ranch’s goalkeeper to backtrack nearly into her own net, reach up and get to the ball just before it crossed the end line.

 Smalley received a throw-in in the final moments of regulation and after an initial touch, booted the ball over her head toward net.

Her shot forced the Mustang goalie to go up and get it, but Damonte Ranch was able to clear without the scoreboard changing.

Overtime showed two teams test each other through the midfield, but shots on goal were few and far between similar to the first half.

“There was a lot of pressure this year,” said Robles. “I talk a big game because I know I have the team, coaching style and players to do it.

“What has kept me strong all season is my lovely wife Allison and seeing both my daughters. They are my greatest support system,” added Robles.

UP NEXT: Douglas will take on Galena for the third time this season, Saturday at noon at Hug High School after the Grizzlies beat Reed 3-2 in the other semifinal.

The winner will not only be the 4A Northern Region champ, but will also get an opening round bye to start the state tournament.

Galena won the second meeting between the two schools 2-0 after the two state-bound programs tied 1-1 in their first meeting in Minden.