Tigers win at first round of soccer regionals
The final score wasn’t impressive, but the final result was all that mattered when the Douglas girls walked off the field with a 1-0 win over Elko on Tuesday in the first round of the 4A Region tournament.
Amber Gwinn scored the lone goal with 28 minutes left in the second half off a corner kick from Abby Aldrich.
The Tigers created several quality scoring opportunities throughout the game, including two shots that hit the crossbar. Most of the players looked relieved and a little frustrated after the game.
“In the second half, we just wanted to win,” Gwinn said. “We think this is our year for zone. We just wanted to put a ball in the back of the net and pull off a win.”
Early in the second half, Aldrich headed a shot just over the crossbar off a corner kick from Lindsee Porter. With seven minutes to play, Aldrich hit a shot off the crossbar that deflected to Mallory Moore, who headed the rebound wide of the net.
“We stepped it up and did what we had to do,” Aldrich said of her team’s second-half surge. “They (the Indians) were starting to play harder because they wanted it really bad.
“We should have scored way more goals. We had so many opportunities.”
The Tigers played the game without starting midfielder Kali Schmidt, who injured her ankle in practice on Saturday. Head coach Fred Schmidt said his daughter could be ready to play on Thursday, when the Tigers travel to Reed High for a semifinal game at 6:30 p.m.
Douglas goalkeeper Ashley Sulprizio made a diving save late in the first half to keep the Indians off the scoreboard and to preserve the shutout.
“I thought we started out a little sluggish, yet we woke up pretty quick when we saw them having the ball in our end for a few minutes,” coach Schmidt said. “We created plenty of good scoring chances, but we didn’t finish. We hit the post. We did everything but put it in and in the playoffs you have to put it in. That’s the name of the game. That’s been our frustration in the last few years.
“Lots of different girls had lots of chances, they just didn’t put it away. Hopefully, we can rack that up to nervousness. Half of the team that started today never played in a playoff game.”