Douglas Tigers girls soccer advance to semifinals with shootout win against McQueen
On a night when Jordan Smith made one outstanding save after another in this rock ’em, sock ’em affair, all it took was one in a shootout for the Douglas High girls soccer team to survive.
Smith’s one save in the shootout on a night in which she finished in double figures in saves was enough as Douglas beat McQueen, 5-3, in the shootout on Tuesday at Keith Roman Field in a Northern 4A first round playoff game. The Tigers (16-3-2) advanced to face Spanish Springs in a semifinal game to be played at 7 p.m. today at Damonte Ranch.
The two teams played to a 2-2 tie through regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods before Douglas prevailed in the shootout.
“She’s the best keeper in Nevada as far as I’m concerned,” said Douglas coach Rick Smith (no relation) about his goalie, who’s heading to Cal State East Bay. “A super kid.”
Kennedy Cole, Molly Coverley and Jesee Cabrera all scored on their penalty kicks on the first three tries for Douglas in the shootout, but McQueen answered each time.
But after Alexa Moss, who also had an outstanding game for Douglas and his heading to Northern Arizona, scored, Smith was able to stop McQueen’s Blackman Cydonah, who had given the Tigers fits during regulation. Madi Smalley, who had appeared to have given the Tigers the win late in regulation with a sensational shot, then stepped up to deliver the game-winner for Douglas.
The Tigers and their fans thought they had won the game in the first overtime when Smalley sent a shot that went through the McQueen goalie’s hands, but she was able to control the ball just before it crossed the goal line.
“It was this far coach,” the official, who made the call, said to Smith when he questioned him between the two overtimes, holding his hands about a foot and a half apart, signaling the ball was that far from crossing the goal line.
Douglas was able to survive despite giving up both goals on corner kicks, so it was obvious what coach Smith would say when asked what his team would work on Wednesday. “Corners,” he said. “Guess what we worked on yesterday?”
The action really picked up about midway through the first half when Smith made a diving save but couldn’t control the ball. Cole, though, shielded the McQueen player from getting to the ball, allowing Smith to corral it.
Douglas then won a loose ball in front of the goal and Moss scored to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Smith later made a diving save on a shot by a McQueen player from point blank range, leading to a corner kick for the Lancers.
Cydonah then scored an amazing goal off the corner kick when she used the back of her foot to send the ball into the net. Cydonah almost did it again when she hit the post with a shot moments later.
Amelia Cochran went on to send a shot off the crossbar that almost gave Douglas the lead. Right before halftime, Moss sent a ball forward and Coverley had at least two shots right in front of the goal but was denied.
Douglas had several more tries in front of the goal as the ball looked like a pinball before McQueen was finally able to clear it, sending the game to a 1-1 tie at halftime.
It was deja vu all over again early in the second half when Moss sent another ball forward to Coverley, who was again denied. Smally almost scored off the rebound but her shot went off the post.
With about 2 1/2 minutes left, Smally appeared to have won the game for Douglas when she sent a shot from the right side that ended up in the far top left corner of the net. But McQueen answered moments later when it scored on a header off of a corner kick to tie the score 2-2.
“They played with a lot of heart until the end of the game,” said Smith about his team.