Douglas girls soccer glides past Reed | RecordCourier.com

Douglas girls soccer glides past Reed

Carter Eckl | ceckl@recordcourier.com
Arianna Bilderback dribbles the ball upfield during Douglas' 4-2 win over Reed Tuesday.
Courtesy Ron Harpin

The Douglas High girls soccer team battled through a bit of a slow start Tuesday on a different surface, but quickly overcame an early deficit on its way to a 4-2 win over Reed.

Douglas, which practices and typically plays on a grass field when at home, took on the Raiders on the turf football field due to a late change.

After falling behind 1-0 early, the Tigers got on the board behind a laser from senior midfielder Dana Merriam, who banged home a free kick from nearly 35 yards out.

The score in the 25th minute quickly swung the game in favor of the Tigers.

Douglas followed with a corner kick and a couple of shots on goal before Madi Smalley found her boot.

From 18 yards out in the 34th minute, Smalley tagged a shot off the far post that kicked into the back of the net after passing the outstretched arms of Reed keeper Bella Mitchell.

The goal pushed Douglas in front 2-1 as the Tigers closed out the final 20 minutes of the first half controlling the tempo.

“(They) punished us for not being on our toes early in the first half,” said Douglas coach Andrew Robles. “We were able to get two back, which allowed me to point out and talk to them about stuff we need to fix.”

In the second half, the two teams battled for possession for the first 10 minutes before Smalley found the back of the net for the second time.

Smalley battled past a Reed defender, took the ball off her foot and put it in the bottom right corner of the net to move the Tigers in front 3-1 in the 60th minute.

“We haven’t really focused on our forwards, but naturally you can tell we have fast and strong forwards,” said Robles. “When they get the ball they’re going to punish teams.”

From there Douglas tacked on to its lead with an added insurance goal in the 69th minute.

Kennedy Cole was tasked with taking a Douglas free kick, which sailed over the players awaiting it and found the Reed goalie.

However, Cole’s kick dropped underneath the Raider goalie and trickled into the net as Douglas moved in front 4-1 before the eventual 4-2 final

Overall Robles was pleased with the Tigers’ performance as they continue to adjust to his coaching style.

The win moves the Tigers back to .500 – at 4-4 on the year – but their overall win-loss record should be taken with a grain of salt after the early season tests Douglas faced.

Robles said his early season expectations were set at seeing what his team was capable of in an early season tournament in Las Vegas.

Douglas dropped all four contests, but fell to 2018 state champ Bishop Gorman and Coronado, a final four team last season.

“We know in our league we are one of the dominant teams so we were planning for the future,” said Robles. “When the test comes we’re going to be ready.”

UP NEXT: Douglas will welcome Spanish Spring (2-2) into Minden on Saturday.