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Douglas girls soccer is back in the race

Donnie Nelson

It’s crunch time for the top three girls soccer teams in Division II of the Class 4A northern zone.

The Tigers announced loud and clear they were ready Tuesday in a 6-1 drubbing of rival South Tahoe.

Sophomore Julia Spaulding tallied a hat trick, Sarah Shearer added two goals and Lindsay Dimitri recorded two assists as the Tigers dominated the game from start to finish.

“Right off we just cranked out the production in goals,” Douglas coach Fred Schmidt said. “Julia had some pretty goals. She got her first two on tenacity and beating the opponent. She finishes with power and precision.”

Douglas, 11-1-3 in league, started fast and furious behind two goals by Spaulding in the opening five minutes.

Douglas extended the lead to 3-0 in the 37th minute when Moore slightly bent a free kick from 30 yards out deep on the left wing right-to-left, over the South Tahoe wall and goalie, and into the top of the net.

The Vikings had their first real scoring opportunity of the game five minutes into the second half. They had an indirect free kick from only 12 yards out, straight in front of the goal. But the shot was rifled right at goalie Katie Hernandez, who punched it out. The ball went high in the air in the goal box, forcing Hernandez to make another closed-fisted punch at it. The Douglas defense finally cleared the ball out of its end.

Shearer made it 4-0 in the 48th minute when she scored on a free kick strikingly similar to Moore’s but from the right side.

“I was really impressed with the free kicks,” Schmidt said.

South Tahoe got on the scoreboard in the 58th minute.

“The defense, except for one obstruction call, was generally solid,” Schmidt said. “We had some break downs after we scored the first two goals and lost our shape but, all in all, we bent but didn’t break. In the second half we came back and played as a unit, organized.”

Douglas’ best scoring play of the game came in the 60th minute.

The play started with the defense, which eventually played the ball ahead and across midfield to Brie Cross. Cross, who didn’t have a good angle to get the ball out to a wing, dropped a nice little touch pass back to Terra Frank, who then sent it out to Shasta Ceragioli on the left wing. Ceragioli surveyed the field and crossed the ball to the far post where Shearer was waiting. Shearer trapped the ball and then sent a half-shot, half-cross into the goal mouth where it bounced off two defenders and into the net.

“Sarah produced again by being in the right position,” Schmidt said.

The Tigers were doing some good, fundamentally sound passes in the second half such as the backpass, to give a teammate a better angle in which to advance the ball forward, and the cross to the far post. They were able to keep spread out and keep the Vikings chasing over a wide field, and able to control the ball up front with good interior touch passing.

“The forwards, midfielders and wingers are starting to run patterns together,” Schmidt said. “They’re not getting on top of each other. They’re making space and willing to (overlap), important things if we’re going to be an attacking soccer team.”

Douglas’ final goal came in the 78th minute when Spaulding deposited a header into the top left side of the goal off a cross from Dimitri.

“I can’t say enough about the effort, it was just outstanding,” Schmidt said.

Douglas, which is scheduled to play at Hug today, will play host to division-leading Carson on Tuesday and then conclude the regular season Oct. 29 with a game at second-place Reno. The three teams were all within one point of each other after Tuesday.