Galena bests Douglas in regional final, Tigers turn focus to state tournament
RENO – Everyone on the Douglas girls soccer sideline would have told you they wanted to win a regional title.
After a 5-0 loss to Galena in the 4A Northern Region final Saturday, the Tigers are forced to turn their sights to the No. 1 goal they’ve had all season – the state tournament.
Douglas opens its state tournament back at Hug High School Thursday at 4 p.m. where the Tigers will look to toppled Centennial High out of Las Vegas.
The Bulldogs (16-3-1) bested Desert Oasis 5-2 to open the state tournament Saturday afternoon. The winner of Douglas/Centennial will play Friday against Coronado (19-1-4), whose only loss this season is against Centennial.
Galena (18-2-2) will open its state tournament against Faith Lutheran High (19-0-1) out of Las Vegas Friday.
Galena takes control
With two meetings during the regular season between the Tigers and Grizzlies, Douglas started the game controlling possession and playing and its preferred style and pace.
Through the first 30 minutes, Douglas had several opportunities on net after a corner kick, a well placed through ball by Devi Schwartz and a long throw-in from the corner flag.
All three times the Tigers had the ball in the box and every time they left without a true scoring chance.
It was exactly the kind of play Douglas head coach Andrew Robles was looking for, but Galena got on the board and quickly changed the tone of the game.
In the 33rd minute Galena opened the scoring with a perfect free kick off the foot of Lauren Muff, who placed it squarely in the upper right corner.
Before Douglas had a chance to shake off the goal, Isabella Flocchini weaved her way through the Tiger defense and deposited a shot in the back of the net in the 35th minute.
A 2-0 deficit at the half quickly turned into a much larger gap as Galena tacked on three more goals in a five-minute span to jump out to a 5-0 advantage.
A Douglas defensive turnover led to the Grizzlies third goal before Flocchini added her second of the afternoon to go up 4-0.
In the 54th minute, Flocchini put her name in the assist column dishing the ball to teammate Camryn Lummus who put her shot off the post and in for the final goal of the afternoon.
“Winning league, winning regionals, winning state is all pretty, but it’s if you can play at the next level,” said Douglas head coach Andrew Robles. “I told them to keep their heads high.
“First half, we should have been up 2-0,” said Robles. “… Everyone tells me if you want to win in these games you have to play direct. I could do that, but that’s not me. I know the next level and my job is to place these girls in the next level.”
To potentially make matters worse, Douglas’ leading scorer Madi Smalley went down with a knee injury in the 66th minute.
Robles said it was knee-to-knee contact with a Galena defender and that he’s not expecting Smalley to miss anytime moving forward.
“Just a collision. Nothing bad,” said Robles.
When asked if he expected his senior striker will play Thursday, Robles said, “Oh, for sure.”
After the loss, Robles wasn’t worried about the Tigers moving forward into the state tournament.
Douglas will be back on the practice field Tuesday after the Veteran’s Day weekend.
A preview of what Robles and the Tigers are expecting in next week’s state tournament can be found in Thursday’s edition of the Record Courier.
UP NEXT: The Tigers will have until Thursday to put the loss behind them before opening their state tournament run against Centennial at 4 p.m. at Hug High School.