On what turned out to be a gorgeous night for soccer, the Dodge City Red Demons took on Hutchinson in a first round regional matchup at Memorial Stadium.


On what turned out to be a gorgeous night for soccer, the Dodge City Red Demons took on Hutchinson in a first round regional matchup at Memorial Stadium.
     The Demons would leave the Salthawks seeing red.
     Dodge City capitalized on two opportunities in the first half as senior Oscar Ramirez pounced on a loose jump ball in the penalty box, heading it home to give the Demons the early 1-0 lead ten minutes into the game.
     For the rest of the first half, DCHS would dominate in possession, halting any Hawk opportunity on the other end of the field. Following a corner, senior Victor Rojas found himself alone with a defender and the goalkeeper to beat, as he flipped the ball past Hutch netminder Evan Wondra and into the left side of the net, giving Dodge the 2-0 haltime advantage.
     The two teams would switch sides for the second half, but it would be the same story for the Demons, who continued to shut down the Hawks offense, squandering any hopes they had of the upset in Dodge.
     However, Hutchinson did have several opportunities to put one in the back of the net, but an alert defense and Demon goalkeeper Alex Rodela would not be denied their shot at the state title.
     Dodge City, which had worked on finishing shots this week in practice, put that work to good use in the second half as senior Jovanny Bonilla sent in a laser from just outside the penalty box and snuck it inside the upper 90 to extend Dodge's lead to 3-0 midway through the period.
     The scoring would conclude as another senior, Aaron Haas, would bury a shot past Wondra, just below the crossbar, giving the Demons the final winning score of 4-0.
     For head coach Virgil Hutchcraft, this was a performance that had the feeling of a letdown in warmups.
     "Warmups and stuff I felt — including me — I felt we were a little bit down," Hutchcraft said. "But once the ball started rolling it seemed like everyone picked it up and was ready to play, I guess we were just saving the energy for the game. We came out on fire."
     As for the all-around performance he got from his players, with four players scoring the goals, Hutchcraft says that's an indication of the type of his talent his team possesses and can utilize during their run to the title.
     "It shows that we have players that can play at any time, and that was the whole point of keeping so many players on the roster this year," Hutchcraft said. "I wanted to be two-deep at each position and I felt we did a good job of that. Hopefully it builds for the future and if we have someone that needs to go out for any reason, than we can cover that position."
     The Demons move onto the second round of the postseason, as they will host Wichita North at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium on Thursday night. Original gametime was set for 6 p.m., but travel issues have delayed the game one hour.
     Regardless, for Hutchcraft and his squad, the more fans that come to support the team, the better they play.
     "I invite to come out for Thursday night," Hutchcraft said. "The bigger the crowd, the more these guys like to play."