Goal by Moss enough to send Tigers to finals, clinch state berth
RENO — Goal No. 1 accomplished.
“That was the first goal here was to make it to state,” said Douglas High girls soccer coach Rick Smith after his team clinched a state berth with a 1-0 win over Spanish Springs in the Northern 4A semifinals on Thursday at Damonte Ranch.
When Alexa Moss scored with about six minutes left in the first half that was enough for Tiger goalie Jordan Smith, who continued her outstanding play, and the Douglas defense to preserve a win that clinched a berth in the State Championships.
Douglas also advanced to a third meeting with Galena in the Northern 4A Championship Game to be played at 3 p.m. Saturday at Damonte Ranch.
The winner of Saturday’s game will advance straight to a state semifinal game at 6 p.m. Friday at Cimarron Memorial High School. The loser will have to play in the quarterfinals in the six-team state event at 7 p.m. Thursday at Faith Lutheran High School.
“The next goal is to put up a banner and win the North,” coach Smith said.
Douglas has yet to beat Galena this year, playing the Grizzlies to a 1-1 tie and losing 3-2.
“Both were quality games,” Smith said, adding about Galena, “quality team.”
So what will it take to beat Galena.
“Putting more balls in the back of the net than they do,” Smith said. “Just play our game.”
Smith also wants his team to start faster. While his team has been a second half team all year, the Tigers have also been a slow starting team, which was the case against Spanish Springs and in Tuesday’s thrilling shootout win over McQueen. “If we do that (start fast) we’re fine,” Smith said.
Douglas was just fine against the Cougars thanks to goalie Smith and defenders Claire Ingrey, Kennedy Cole, Tess Sando, Hailey Christensen and Arianna Bilderback, who posted the shutout.
Early in the first half Smith made an outstanding save on a shot by Spanish Springs from point blank range to keep the game scoreless.
Late in the first half Amelia Cochran centered a pass to Moss, who placed the ball in the net for the game’s only goal.
Douglas had to sweat out one last scare with about five minutes left when Smith again was able to make an outstanding save on a Cougar breakaway.
Notes: Douglas did lose midfielder Devi Schwartz, who sustained an ankle injury in the first half. Smith said Schwartz was taken for X-rays and wouldn’t be able to play on Saturday.