Girls’ Soccer: Douglas cruises into regional title game
From the outside, it was an impressive 5-1 win avenging the only loss of the season for the Douglas girls’ soccer game.
But as the Tigers clinched their fourth berth into the Northern 4A Regional championship match in as many years, coach Lorraine Fitzhugh saw plenty of room for improvement.
“We haven’t even peaked yet,” she said. “There are so many areas we can get better. We’re still trying to find a starting lineup.
“We’re happy with tonight’s outcome, but with the way the game played out, we know there is a lot of work to do.”
Wednesday night at Damonte Ranch, Douglas did indeed top Manogue, the only team to defeat the Tigers in the last 37 matches.
Out of the gates, though, it appeared the Miners would be in control.
Manogue out-shot the Tigers 4-1 over the first 18 minutes of the game while controlling the overall time of possession and stringing together two back-to-back solid scoring opportunities.
Douglas forward Cora Moody then came off the bench to provide a needed spark for the offense. She crossed in front of the net from wide right in the 25th minute.
The pass slipped through the Manogue defense and rolled in front of a charging Holly Downer, who punched it home for the 1-0 lead.
Douglas stretched the lead to 2-0 when Freshman Lexi VonSchottenstein broke free after a loose ball as Manogue’s keeper ran into her own defender while charging out to make the stop. VonSchottenstein pursued the ball and tapped it cleanly to the left post for the goal.
The Tiger defense, made up of Shannon Hubbard, Caitlyn Jones, Ericka Arellano and Kassidy Freitas, held the Miners without a shot over the final 22 minutes of the half, and kept them without a shot until the final minute of the game when Manogue scored.
“We were letting them run in the middle on us and we had to make an adjustment at halftime to take that way,” Fitzhugh said. “The girls did a good job of timing their step right to break things up.
“We had a lot of young players out there and there were some jitters they had to get over. Once they did, they settled in very nicely.”
Early in the second half, Lexi Weaver charged in on a rebound from VonSchottenstein’s shot that had bounced off the crossbar. Weaver blistered it to the left post on the ground for the 3-0 lead.
Katie Dry scored on an unassisted run in the 65th minute and Tia Lyons added a goal after a sprint down the left side in the 76th minute.
Goalkeeper Bri Randall was on her way to posting the 32nd shutout of her career before she had to leave the game in the 76th minute with a leg injury.
Manogue scored three minutes later.
“Bri should be OK,” Fitzhugh said. “We had some bumps and bruises tonight and with her, it was too cold to get a good read on what actually happened. We’re hoping she’s going to be OK.”