Douglas beats Vikings on PK to win regional title
November 8, 2009
RENO – Give South Tahoe High a girls’ soccer playoff game at Damonte Ranch High School and chances are the game will venture into overtime.
The Vikings played their third extra time postseason game in succession Saturday, but for the first time went down to defeat to the Douglas Tigers 2-1 in the Northern 4A championship game. South Tahoe was seeking its first regional title in 13 years, while the Tigers won for the first time since 2002.
Douglas sophomore Katie Dry hammered home a penalty kick in the 14th minute of overtime to give the Tigers the one-goal victory and the top seed heading into next week’s state tournament at the same venue.
She was awarded the decisive kick after breaking free one-on-one with South Tahoe senior keeper Alexis Nunes-Fenley with no more than 30 seconds left in overtime.
Nunes-Fenley came out to challenge the play and took Dry down to the turf as Dry shot. The ball dribbled just wide of the far post, but Nunes-Fenley was issued a red card on the play and Dry given the penalty kick.
“I’m not questioning the PK. I thought the ref did the right thing in the position,” said STHS coach Clint Lockhart.
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Lockhart, however, did have a different opinion about the red card imposed on his goalie. He plans to appeal the red card with the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association this week. If the appeal isn’t successful, Nunes-Fenley won’t be permitted to play in the Vikings’ state semifinal against Galena on Friday in Reno.
Dry sent a rocket high toward the center of the net, beating South Tahoe backup keeper Mickey Segers for the goal and the win.
“She’s a great player and credit her for making the shot and not letting the situation overcome her and get bigger than it needed to be,” Lockhart said.
Dry prepared for such a shot in the days leading up to the regional final.
“All this week, when we’ve been practicing, that’s where I want my shot to go,” Dry said. “I managed to put it in the same spot today.
“I knew if I did miss it, my team would pull through at the end. Whether or not I missed it or made it, it would’ve turned out well. I just looked at it as another opportunity.”
Douglas improved to 21-2-2 overall on the year and will play Faith Lutheran at 2 p.m. Friday in the first round of the state tournament at Damonte Ranch. South Tahoe (18-5-3) will play Galena in the first semifinal at noon.
The Vikings got on the board early as Shelby Spicer got loose on a breakaway in the third minute and rolled the ball past Douglas keeper Briana Randall for the 1-0 lead.
Douglas answered in the 14th minute when Dry made a run down the right side and crossed to the far post for former South Lake Tahoe resident Kyra Barth, who tapped it in for the goal.
“Our goal probably triggered them and probably made us step up a little bit harder,” Lockhart said. “It was great that we got the early goal. I wish we could have gotten another one.”
From there, the two team’s defenses took over, although the Tigers 18 shots in the game, compared to South Tahoe’s eight.
“Brianna (Randall) didn’t get a ton of pressure today, but she was ready when they came at her,” Douglas coach Lorraine Fitzhugh said of her keeper, who made six saves on the afternoon.
“We had some people really step up on defense too, like Shannon Hubbard and Holly Downer. With a team like South Tahoe, who is so patient in their approach, you just have to stick with it and wait for your chances.
“Our pressure comes from every player on the field, so you have to give them all credit. They got right in there and refused to be pushed off the ball.”
Fitzhugh added that the last year’s loss in the title game to Reed didn’t just serve as motivation, but also as excellent preparation.
“After last year’s heartache, there were so many girls that returned who came in very solid and confident,” she said. “There wasn’t any of that ‘deer in the headlights’ type of mentality. And for the girls who weren’t with us last year, they listened to what our veterans had to say.
“It’s just a sweet feeling all around.”
As for the Vikings, they have something that previous regional final losers didn’t: a second chance.
“We’re just going to go out there and take it to them at state. That’s all we can really do,” Spicer said.