Boys’ Soccer: Douglas picks up crucial league win over Wooster
It’d been a stretch of nearly two full years – 12 matches to be exact – since the Douglas boys’ soccer team won a game on its home field.
That changed Wednesday as Douglas picked up a crucial 2-1 win over Wooster to get right back into the playoff picture.
The win – Douglas’ first at home since beating Fallon 1-0 in the regular season finale on Oct. 27, 2009 – moved the Tigers to 4-8-2 overall on the year and 2-6-2 in Northern 4A play.
They took control of fourth place in the Sierra League, gaining the valuable tiebreaker over Wooster.
“What impressed me the most about the game was not that we fought hard, controlled a game pretty much from start to finish and that the players rose to the pressure,” Douglas coach Vince Brown said. “What impressed me was their attitude when they came off the field.
“They were pleased with the win, but they know they have a job to do and their first thoughts were not about celebrating a win, but concentrating on the next game against Spanish Springs.”
Brown mixed up his lineup to start, moving Eric Kleiner, who normally plays defense, up top with Jaden Mustacchio and moving center midfielders Jake Passas and Audrick Anderson out to the wings. That opened up the middle for Connor Greth and Emilio Magana.
“We wanted to go all out attack with our fastest and biggest starting line-up,” Brown said. “This was out chance to get in playoff position. The boys rose to the challenge and commanded the game from the first kick.”
A few hard tackles off the opening kick set Kleiner loose deep in Wooster territory. He sent a nice through ball to Mustacchio who held off two challenges and rounded past the keeper for the 1-0 lead just 30 seconds in.
“This was the start we’ve been looking for,” Brown said.
Brown said the back four of Tay Lopez-Simms, Nathan Neese, Jacobi Smith and Dane Olsen comfortably dealt with the Wooster attack, keeping tough shots away from keeper Francisco Sanchez.
“With us controlling the momentum of the game, we had opportunities to make quick subs,” Brown said. “Every person that came on made an immediate impact, especially Tristan Cohee, who had an exceptionally physical game and rarely wasted the ball when in possession.”
Early in the second half, Anderson sent what Brown called a “superb” through-ball to Mustacchio, who collected it and lobbed it past the Wooster keeper from 25 yards out for the 2-0 lead.
Mason Jackson later had a shot fly just over the crossbar from a considerable distance away.
Wooster pulled within one on a quick free kick, but Douglas’ Scott Chandler blazed back down and scored. The goal was wiped off, though, due to an offsides call.
Wooster pressed over the final 10 minutes and appeared to tie the game, but the shooter was called for a hand ball and the goal was pulled back off.
Douglas next takes on Spanish Springs tonight in Minden at the Big George Sports Complex on campus at 7 p.m.
Joey Crandall can be reached at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.