Douglas knocks the Hawks for a loop in home opener
A young and relatively inexperienced Douglas High School girls soccer squad played like a team loaded with seasoned veterans Tuesday at it put on a clinic and routed visiting Hug, 9-1, in its home opener.
Douglas, 2-0, fired 41 shots on goal and sent six other balls into the box. The defense only gave up three shots and one late goal on an assignment mix up.
The Tigers had their way with the Hawks. They scored early and often, not letting Hug gain any momentum or sense of competitiveness, and then settled down and executed the type of soccer head coach Fred Schmidt was looking for. They spread the field, keeping spacing and the defense stretched wide to the sidelines, and played a possession-controlled passing offense. The result was also what Schmidt was looking for.
“We’re still a young team but we played with confidence and kept possession under pressure,” Schmidt said. “I’m proud we controlled the ball and were not just kicking it long down the field. Also what I like was that we had a lot of different people score and spread the action around a lot.”
Douglas put an amazing amount of pressure on the Hug goal early, getting off nine high-quality shots in the first 10 minutes.
In the first minute, Sarah Girdner pushed a pass behind the defense to Brie Cross, who ran onto it but missed an open shot from 12 yards out wide right. In the third minute, with Hug playing an offsides trap, Dioni Rey sent a ball over the defense to right wing Sarah Shearer. Shearer made good on a one-on-one with the Hug goalie but had the tally waved off on an offsides call. Jenelle McNulty failed to execute another one-on-one in the fifth minute and Cross missed a one-timer from the penalty spot off a cross from Shearer in the 6th minute.
Douglas finally got on the scoreboard when Cross ran onto a long clear ball over the defense by Mina Mafua and executed on a one-on-one from 35 yards out. She got a little lucky, however, as the shot ricocheted off the right post but into the net.
Hug continued to play suspect defense over the next eight minutes as McNulty and Julia Spaulding each added goals on one-on-one attacks. Erin Bell and Rey were credited with the assists.
Douglas, which could have easily had a 6-0 lead after just 15 minutes of play, beat the defense time and time again in the early going with long balls down the middle, allowing its fast forwards to make one-on-one runs on the goalie.
“At first they played really flat on defense and gave us runs up the middle,” Schmidt said.
The Tigers got off 22 shots in the first half while Hug managed just two. Shasta Ceragioli had another great scoring opportunity in the 25th minute but her shot from the top left corner of the penalty box bounced off the right post. Katie Hernandez touched the ball only four times, partly because Girdner, the sweeper, Mafua, the right fullback, and Spaulding, who also rotated back on defense, handled any bit of Hug pressure rather easily.
Douglas picked up where it left off, scoring two goals in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
In the 48th minute, Shearer sent a cross from the right wing that bounced off the crossbar (the line is in play in soccer and, since the posts and crossbar are set up on the line, the goal pipes are also in play) and into the box. Hernandez, who was replaced by Sarah Moore in goal, touched it back to Rey, who placed a shot in the top right corner of the net. Two minutes later, Girdner came up with a loose ball in the box and scored.
The play of the game started in the 61st minute when Moore cleared a ball to Ceragioli on the left sideline at midfield. Ceragioli put a reverse spin move on a defender and broke towards the goal. She lost a balance as a defender came in from the opposite side of the field but still had the presence of mind to pause and let the defender run by, shift the ball back to the right and drill a high shot to the far post. The Hug goalie never had a chance.
McNulty added goals in the 64th and 67th minutes, and Ceragioli another one in the 78th minute.
Hug scored its only goal in the 70th minute when freshman Stephanie Goldfin ran onto a free ball on the left wing and lofted a shot over Moore and into the net.
“Girdner is playing well for us as our new sweeper,” Schmidt said. “Bell really controlled the mid field and that’s where the passing game comes from. I was also pleased with the quality of our finishes, especially in the second half.
“This is a very different team than last year’s because the personnel is different and we’ve changed the whole formation,” Schmidt added. “I’m sure we’ll surprise a lot of teams. We have a lot of sophomores but we’re actually pretty equal in terms of the numbers from all classes.”
Douglas was scheduled to play Class 3A powerhouse Truckee on Friday in a first round game of Truckee Tournament. The Tigers continue the league season this week with games at Sparks (Tuesday), South Tahoe (Thursday) and Carson (Friday), all playoff teams last year. The next home game isn’t until Sept. 20.
First half scoring – Douglas, Cross (Mafua), 6th; Douglas, McNulty (Bell), 12th; Douglas, Spaulding (Rey), 14th. Shots on goal – Douglas 22, Hug 2. Crosses* – Douglas 4, Hug 0. Corner kicks – Douglas 5, Hug 0. Throw ins – Douglas 5, Hug 5. Goal kicks – Douglas 0, Hug 7. Saves – Douglas 2, Hug 7. Keeper balls – Douglas 2, Hug 2.
Second half scoring – Douglas, Rey (Shearer and Hernandez), 48th; Douglas, Girdner (Cross), 50th; Douglas, Ceragioli (Moore), 61st; Douglas, McNulty (Cross), 64th; Douglas, McNulty (Rey), 67th; Hug, SGoldfin, 70th; Douglas, Ceragioli (Cross), 78th. Shots on goal – Douglas 19, Hug 2. Crosses* – Douglas 5, Hug 0. Corner kicks – Douglas 1, Hug 0. Throw ins – Douglas 8, Hug 9. Goal kicks – Douglas 0, Hug 4. Saves – Douglas 1, Hug 1. Keeper balls – Douglas 4, Hug 3.
Game totals – Douglas 9, Hug 1. Shots on goal – Douglas 41, Hug 4. Saves – Douglas 3, Hug 14.