The Dodge City High School Red Demon soccer won a game that was shaping up to be a stalemate Thursday with three late goals over the Great Bend Panthers at Memorial Stadium. The win improved the Demons' record to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in Western Athletic Conference play.

    But coach Virgil Hutchcraft and his staff were not thrilled about the first 60 minutes of what ended up as another 3-1 Demon victory.


The Dodge City High School Red Demon soccer won a game that was shaping up to be a stalemate Thursday with three late goals over the Great Bend Panthers at Memorial Stadium. The win improved the Demons' record to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in Western Athletic Conference play.
    But coach Virgil Hutchcraft and his staff were not thrilled about the first 60 minutes of what ended up as another 3-1 Demon victory.
    "We came out a little too slow," Hutchcraft said. "Great Bend came out with a lot more energy in the first half."
    The two teams played to a 0-0 tie through the first 40 minutes, despite what Hutchcraft termed a lack of energy. The Demons had chances to get on the board and break the tie, but failed to do so with extra passes in front of the box or by passing the ball just beyond the reach of potential scorers.
    Midway through the first half, sophomore forward Antonio Alvarez took a shot right at Great Bend's goalkeeper with the other half of the goal wide open, a mistake he was later able to atone for.
    After a fiery halftime speech from assistant coach John Bouchard, the team picked up the pace on challenges in the second half, but still came up short with several goal-scoring opportunities. Alvarez, who was camped in front of the goal during a Demon attack in the 50th minute, would have surely scored had he been able to get a foot to deflect a Larry Martinez pass, but whiffed, and the score remained knotted at zero. Forward Victor Millan slightly over-led Alvarez on a pass during the next Demon attack that would have given Alvarez a one-on-one situation with the keeper.
    But in the 61st minute, the Red Demons finally got a shot through. Millan got the home team on the board and in command of the match with only 19 minutes remaining. Junior midfielder Luis Lopez assisted on the goal.
    Only five minutes later, Millan assisted on Alvarez's first goal of the night. Millan then stole the ball just after the ensuing kickoff and found Alvarez streaking down the right side of the field.
    Alvarez blazed past Panther defenders, squared up and went opposite corner for his second goal of the 66th minute. With the game out of reach, the Demons coasted to victory.
    Great Bend's Carlos Luna scored on a free kick near the left corner of Dodge City's box in the 76th minute when Dodge did not set it's defense up quickly enough.
    "It's a shame to give up a goal there," Hutchcraft said. "We always manage to give up a goal when we have a chance to have a clean sheet for our keeper and our defense."
    It's a nice problem to have. The Demons are back on the field Tuesday in Hays facing Thomas More Prep.
    The junior varsity game is scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. The JV Demons beat Great Bend 7-0 Thursday.
    Julio Ramirez scored two goals, and so did Victor Rojas. Saul Sanchez scored two of his own in the blowout win, and Ivan Petrocelli scored one.