Douglas High's Bennjamin Peterson (23) slides in for a tackle on a McQueen ballhandler Thursday afternoon in the Tigers' 2-1 over the Lancers.
Photo by Carter Eckl.
There wasn’t much to give between Douglas and McQueen boys’ soccer Thursday afternoon as the Tigers escaped with a 2-1 win on their home field.
A physical affair, Douglas’ Joey Guariglia scored what went on to be the game winner in the 43rd minute on a breakaway.
Guariglia was on the receiving end of a pass from defender Wiu Wiu, who led the senior forward in on net for the score.
“Questionable call, but we will take it," said Douglas head coach Ricky Diaz.
The Lancer sideline was adamant the Tigers were offside on the scoring chance.
The first goal saw Douglas escape with a little more fortune as David Fausto’s long shot snuck over the foot of McQueen’s keeper to tie the game at 1-1 in the 29th minute.
“We got a little bit fortunate on the first goal, but sometimes you might not play the best, but our boys chase everything,” said Diaz.
It was that relentless hustle that allowed the Tigers to capitalize on their fortunes.
McQueen had a pair of corner kick chances in the 74th minute that were both turned away.
Tiger keeper Joseph Thurston made a diving save on one of the chances in the box to stifle the Lancer scoring effort.
“He’s done a lot of work and we owe a lot to him,” said Wiu.
A physical affair through the second half that feature several yellow cards and a McQueen assistant coach getting ejected for arguing with an official will undoubtedly be quite the rematch when the two programs face off again Thursday, Oct. 14 in Reno.
“Yeah, this is exactly what we expected. Whoever made that mistake was going to be the one losing this game,” said Diaz.
The Tigers continued to put chances on net, despite their lead.
In the 48th minute, Douglas put a long shot off the crossbar.
Five minutes later, Fausto forced a diving save from McQueen’s goalie to turn away another scoring chance.
Douglas scrapped for possession at every turn, something their head coach has made habitual since coaching most of the players through youth soccer.
“It’s something that is engrained in their heads. We win games in two different ways; either by playing with a lot of quality, which we didn’t have today,” said Diaz. “The other one is running and chasing everything. … If we run out butts off, we make it happen.”
The Douglas boys’ team is now 4-0-2 (W-L-D) after the result Thursday afternoon, but Diaz isn’t too quick to feel like the Tigers are out in front of anyone yet.
“It was a super important game, but I feel like it’s just the beginning of our league season,” added Diaz. “It’s a win, but it’s just the beginning.”
Still sitting undefeated after six games does still leave a nice feeling amongst the players, even if they know there is plenty of season left.
“I can’t explain it, but I feel really, really happy right now,” said Wiu. “Beating a team like that is amazing.”
UP NEXT: Douglas goes right back to work Saturday, traveling to take on Reno (4-1) at 2 p.m.