Girls’ Soccer: Tigers advance to state title game |

Girls’ Soccer: Tigers advance to state title game

by Joey Crandall

Taking on a team with an offense that has put up huge margins of victory this season – including single-game totals of 13 and 14 goals – and a defense that hadn’t allowed a goal since the first week of October, the Douglas High girls’ soccer team was prepared to have it hands full.

It didn’t take long for the Lady Tigers to do away with any of that kind of talk.

Douglas struck early and often in piling up 4-0 win over Faith Lutheran in the state semifinals at Damonte Ranch High School Friday afternoon.

With the win, the Tigers advanced to the first-ever NIAA 4A girls’ soccer state championship game against the Galena Grizzlies. Kickoff is slated for 10 a.m. Saturday at Damonte Ranch.

“The only hesitation after a game like this is you kind of want it to be an amped up game in order to prepare for the next one,” Fitzhugh said. “We just have to move on and wrap our minds around the task in front of us.”

Douglas beat Faith Lutheran 5-0 during the season-opening Howell Memorial Tournament in Reno in August, but Fitzhugh said the Tigers were prepared for anything heading into Friday’s game.

“The team we just played was a different team than the one that was here for

the Howell Tournament,” she said. “All week, we didn’t know exactly what they’d have.

“We had to prepare our game and not worry about who it was going to be against. I think we did a good job of that. We’re very happy with the win. We got at them quickly and that was exactly what we needed to do.”

Indeed, Douglas broke the Crusaders scoring streak just 11 minutes into the game when Kyra Barth made a nice run down the left wing and crossed in front for Katie Dry, who was wide open to the right of the net. Dry deflected it easily back toward the near post for the goal.

Core Moody extended the lead just three minutes later with a nice shot from the outside the penalty box that arced just inside the upper right corner of the net.

“I think that deflated them a little,” Fitzhugh said of the quick start. “We came out fast and I don’t think they were accustomed to being behind, to having goals on the board even.”

Dry added an unassisted goal in the 30th minute on a nice run inside the box.

She fought off a defender and put the shot in the high right corner.

Holly Downer capped the scoring six minutes into the second half after collecting a nice corner kick from CJ Baumgartner and hammering it home from just insde the penalty box.

Defensively, Shannon Prinz, Natalie Freitas, Downer, Shannon Hubbard and Erica Macias anchored a unit that allowed only four shots in the game while keeper Brianna Randall had three saves.

“We had good energy to the ball and that was good to see,” Fitzhugh said. “We moved the ball around well. I’m happy with how we released the quick shots. There were a lot of good things.”