The Dodge City Red Demons beat the Washburn Rural Junior Blues 3-1 Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the boys 6A state soccer tournament.
The win means Dodge City moves on, and will play Friday night in next round of the state playoffs. The loss by Washburn Rural means their boys soccer season is over.
With the loss, the Junior Blues finished the season 15-4 overall.
“This year when we were not at our best, we just weren’t our toughest,” Washburn Rural head coach Brian Hensyel said. “I think what this came down to tonight was (on) all of those little plays you had to have just to be the tougher team to make it happen, (the Red Demons) were a little tougher than us, and that was the end.”
Much of the play happened in the Red Demons’ side of the field during the early first half, with the Jr. Blues attacking often and managing to record a few different scoring chances.
Still, Red Demons head coach Saul Hernandez said his team was willing to risk playing more defensively in the first half because, like Hensyel, he saw how his team was performing on certain types of plays.
“Aerial-attack after aerial-attack, we were beating em to every ball,” Hernandez said. “They had some height, but our boys had more determination I think, because we were winning every ball in the air.”
The wind blew a little throughout the game, blowing toward the Red Demons’ goal in the first half, something both coaches pointed out about how the teams started.
Eventually, however, Dodge City opened the scoring with a goal by freshman forward Alan Lopez. The goal put the Red Demons up 1-0.
Hensyel said the Jr. Blues knew they would be playing a really good team in the Red Demons.
“What we talked about was we were gonna have to have a really, good start, try to put some game-pressure on them by getting the early goal,” Hensyel said. “When you’re the defending champs,(when) you fall behind you can feel that pressure, we’ve been in that spot before. Had our chances early to maybe get one, and then that first goal by them I think just got them more confident.”
Hernandez said the win against Washburn Rural helps the Red Demons’ confidence.
“(The Jr. Blues are) always a strong team,” Hernandez said. “They perform well in big tournaments and they’re always competing up there with the best of em.”
Dodge City now moves on to take on an opponent yet to be determined on Friday at the Topeka Hummer Sports Complex, in Topeka, Kansas.