Girls’ Soccer: Douglas advances to regional title game
After battling through most of the quarterfinals scoreless before prevailing on a late goal, the Douglas girls’ soccer team wasn’t about to take any chances in the regional semifinals at Damonte Ranch Thursday night.
The Tigers chose to play with a steady south wind to their backs in the first half and put the game’s only goal on the board in the ninth minute, holding on for a 1-0 victory over Galena.
“We came out pretty well, strung some passes together early on there and got a goal during that sequence,” Douglas coach Lorraine Fitzhugh said.
With the win, Douglas clinched a spot in next week’s state tournament and will play for the regional title against South Tahoe Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Damonte Ranch.
“The wind can be a big factor in a game like this, but we were most concerned with getting the advantage to our backs in the first half and trying to get a goal out of that,” Fitzhugh said. “Of course, it goes the other way on you in the next half, but we have a lot of confidence in our defense.”
Indeed, the Tigers got the quick goal they were looking for, but the wind had little to do with it.
CJ Baumgartner slipped the ball outside to Alex Laing, who tapped it straight back to Baumgartner. Baumgartner then put a low shot to the left post, which found its way into the net just under the Galena keeper.
“That’s something the girls are very good at,” Fitzhugh said. “They find each other and naturally get right back in position to make a run out of it. It was a great play and CJ had a really nice shot on it.”
The wind aided Douglas in dominating possession through the first half while the Tigers outshot the Grizzlies 11-4.
In the second half, the possession swung to Galena’s favor and the Grizzlies pounded out eight shots to Douglas’ four.
The Tiger defense, though, highlighted by strong efforts from Cora Moody, Shannon Hubbard, Erica Macias, Holly Downer and Katie Dry, kept the Grizzlies from getting many decent open looks at the net.
Galena’s speedy forwards Sarah Lancaster and Halley Neff made a number of threatening runs toward the net, but Douglas managed to repeatedly contain them.
Keeper Brianna Randall was able to scoop up the shots that did get through.
“We ran the risk, giving them the second half wind, of giving up a long-distance goal, but they never really tested us from outside,” Fitzhugh said. “The defense stepped up to the challenge and met their pressure.
“We were just getting to the ball and not giving them any quality shots. Brianna had a great night in net and made some quality saves.”
Galena’s best opportunity came with about 15 minutes left when Neff broke loose and attempted to send the ball over Randall’s head, but Randall made a leaping fingertip save on the shot.
South Tahoe beat Carson 2-1 in overtime Thursday night to advance to the title game.