Douglas girls soccer ends season with emphatic win, secures home playoff game
Tigers set up home game with McQueen to open 4A Northern Regional play
Douglas High girls soccer is right where it wants to be after a 2-0 win over Bishop Manogue at home Thursday evening.
The win gives the Tigers a second place finish in the Sierra League and secures a home game for the first round of the 4A Northern Region tournament, which starts Monday.
Douglas’ first round opponent will be McQueen (8-6-2), who the Tigers beat 2-0 back on Sept. 7. The Tigers and the Lancers will play Monday in Minden at 6 p.m.
For head coach Andrew Robles, the talk around his team all season has been geared toward the state tournament, but the first-year Tiger head coach wants to make sure his team doesn’t overlook its first postseason test.
“Getting that home court advantage is huge. We just have to make sure we come ready for that game,” said Robles. “We’ve got to stay focused. Every game is a playoff match and we have a lot of seniors.
“The senior class, this could possibly be (their) last game so don’t let it be. They’re too good for it to be their last game.”
Early game groove
It was Douglas who was in control from the opening kick Thursday evening, racking up two corner kicks within the first four minutes of play.
Madi Smalley gave Douglas a third corner kick after she fired a shot near post in the sixth minute that Bishop Manogue keeper Emma King deflected wide of the net.
In the 14th minute Douglas midfielder Dana Merriam took another shot that King saved, but the ball ended up at the feet of Tiger forward Vaneza Diaz who quickly booted it into the back of the net to open the scoring.
Right after the Tigers scored, Amelia Cochran got another chance into the box on a cross, but the ball floated through without contact.
Cochran had another chance in the 26th minute after a quick deke in front of her bench allowed her to get around a Miner defender. Her shot was saved, but the Tigers kept piling on chances.
Eight minutes later, Douglas had another corner kick opportunity and made the most of it.
Diaz powered a cross over the main group of players in the middle of the box before Molly Coverley got a touch on it.
Coverley popped the ball to herself and with her back to the goal lofted the ball back toward net. Her shot sailed over the keeper’s head and into the side netting, giving Douglas a 2-0 lead.
“I didn’t actually look at the goal,” said Coverley. “I just kicked it backward and hoped it went into the box.”
It was all the Tigers needed even through the second half in which neither team truly tested the other goalkeeper.
With the win, Douglas finished the regular season without a loss at home (7-0-1) and brimming with confidence.
“It means a lot,” said Smalley. “I think clutching second place probably gives us a lot more confidence than we would have had if we were third. This win right before playoffs is really good for us. … I think beating the team that beat Galena gives us a boost going into the playoffs.”
“It clinches our last home game and it’s just sentimental being on the field for the last time. It’s going to be sad, but I’m excited,” said Coverley, who is a senior.
Douglas’ JV team also closed out the season with a perfect 18-0 record under coach Janelle Martin.
“Congrats to our JV coach Janelle Martin, who trusted my vision and added a bit of her own characteristics to lead our JV team,” said Robles. “The future of the Douglas High School soccer program is looking bright.”
UP NEXT: Douglas will get the weekend to clean up any small details it needs to before it hosts McQueen Monday at 6 p.m.