DHS boys soccer comes back to tie South Tahoe
The Douglas High School boys varsity soccer team didn’t have a whole lot riding on its game Wednesday against South Tahoe, but that didn’t stop the competitive juices from flowing.
After spotting the visitors a 3-0 lead in the opening 30 minutes, the Tigers rallied desperately, ultimately scoring the game-tying goal in the final minute. The 3-3 tie kept the Tigers, who had wrapped up the Northern 4A Division II title four days earlier, undefeated in league (13-0-2) with games against Hug, Carson and Reno remaining.
It was ugly early. Adam Kincaid and Caleb Currance made great individual efforts to get open, one-touch reaction shots on goal in the game’s opening minutes, but that was all the offense the Tigers could muster in the first 35 minutes.
South Tahoe had a great opportunity to score in the seventh minute when its left wing got behind the defense and fired a shot which got behind goalie Kevin Gwinn. Gwinn got just enough of his outstretched hands on the ball to slow it down. The ball stopped, dead in the mud, one foot in front of the goal line.
South Tahoe finally broke the ice in the 18th minute when Evan Baker sent a low grounder from the left side of the box past Gwinn and just inside the far post.
The Vikings made it 2-0 nine minutes later when Andy Butcher put a rebound shot into an empty net.
It started as a broken play on the left side of the box. Gwinn came charging off his line and slid after the free ball, but a South Tahoe player got to it first, and also got Gwinn in the head. The ball squirted over to the left halfback, who fired a line drive on goal. Rory Marenco chest trapped in the goal mouth and tried to clear out, but the ball bounded out to Butcher who, with Gwinn still unable to recover, had an easy shot from point-blank range.
Gwinn was later taken off the field, not to return, on a stretcher and to the hospital for observation with a possible concussion.
The Vikings added a third goal in the 30th minute when Brian Winters laced a line drive from 30 yards out into the right side of the goal. Mylan Schmit, playing in place of Gwinn, leaped high in the air to his left on the shot and did a great job to get an outstretched arm on the ball. But, the ball maintained just enough forward momentum to trickle into the goal.
The team which was on the field for the first 30 minutes played, by far, its worse soccer of the year. It got caught up in South Tahoe’s kick-ball style, didn’t keep the field wide and spread, had no interior passing game what-so-ever, and kept shooting off at the mouth at the officials and each other. All this from a team that is known for playing a beautiful, if not artistic, brand of classy soccer.
We’re the Tigers flat and a little overconfident? Maybe they were because there wasn’t much to play for.
Suddenly it all changed, as if someone had reached across the field and thrown a bucket of cold water on them. They kicked it into gear, playing with style and aggression.
Douglas got on the scoreboard in the 36th minute when substitute Shane Hennessy-York took the ball a long way down the right sideline and deep into the corner before curling back a perfect cross into the middle of the box, where a sliding Kincaid redirected it into the net.
Douglas closed to within one goal 16 minutes into the second half. Currance sent a corner kick from the right side over the South Tahoe goalie and Dane Eiteneier, who went up high in the goal mouth challenging each other for the ball, and the rest of the pack gathered in the goal box to Kincaid at the far post. Kincaid deflected it back Eiteneier, who had recovered well on the play, and Eiteneier punched it it.
The Tigers had plenty of balls in the South Tahoe box in which to work with but couldn’t convert the seemingly good opportunities. All the while, South Tahoe was trying to run out the clock with constant substitutions and long clear balls, sometimes way out of bounds.
They finally got the equalizer in the 80th minute, unofficially 2 1/2 minutes into the referee’s discretionary added time, when Kevin Krueger stuffed a short shot in the middle of the box into the back of the net. The play started with a throw in on the left side by Joe Doornick.
It almost didn’t happen in time, however, as a Douglas player had to retrieve an extra ball from behind the South Tahoe goal, after a South Tahoe defender had cleared the original game ball over a fence fronting Highway 88, and then get it again and throw it over to Doornick after a South Tahoe player knocked the first throw down and left it alone, trying to stall.
Douglas, who was playing without injured starter and leading goal scorer Jeremy Louthan and suspended starter Chance Supko, had six non-starters on the field when the final goal was scored. Hennessy-York, who was later credited with having two assists, was the sparkplug in the gallant comeback.
Douglas will play at Hug today and then play host to Carson on Wednesday.
Junior varsity back on track
After suffering its first defeat of the season Saturday at Reed, the Douglas junior varsity team (12-1-1) came from behind to tie South Tahoe, 2-2.
With injured starters Nick Hernandez and Chris Chappell out of the lineup, the Tigers were hard pressed to mount a sustained attack. Blake Hennessy-York tied the game at 1-all in the 47th minute and Robby Honer scored the final goal in the 65th minute.