Demons move to 15-0 with 3-2 win
In the previous three meetings between the Dodge City High School boys soccer team and Kapaun Mt. Carmel, the Red Demons edged out the Crusaders by just one goal. Monday’s matchup was no different.
Dodge City (15-0, 7-0) kept its perfect record intact with a 3-2 win over the Crusaders. With a week to go before the playoffs begin, Kapaun provided just the test that the Red Demons needed.
"I think it’s the perfect team to play against before the postseason," Dodge City junior Mario Martinez said. "This game will help us with what we need to work on. If we beat teams like this, you know you’re going in a good way going into the postseason."
The Red Demons jumped out to an early lead when junior Joshua DonJuan beat Kapaun goalkeeper Cameron McGrath in the sixth minute of the game.
Over the final 10 minutes of the first half, Kapaun created many chances before finally tying the game with 1:50 to play before the halftime whistle.
"I thought in the first half we were a bit sloppy," Dodge City head coach Saul Hernandez said. "Our touches were a bit off and we weren’t looking up for passes but that’s what good teams are going to do. We got scored on but we handled it and we adjusted and the boys came back in the second half much better."
A goal from Francisco Cayetano in the 50th minute broke the deadlock early in the second half. Five minutes after Cayetano’s goal, Martinez scored what proved to be the game winning goal. Both Cayetano and Martinez found the back of the net from about 20 yards away.
"We practice shots from long range a lot," Hernandez said. "That’s another piece of ammo for our arsenal and if we use that, we open up the game more."
Kapaun’s Michael McGreevy brought the Crusaders back to within one goal with 3:02 left in the game.
The Red Demons will host Liberal on Thursday in their regular season finale. After beating Great Bend 4-1 on Monday, Liberal (10-5, 6-1) comes into Thursday’s match just one game behind Dodge City in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
If the Redskins were to win on Thursday, the two teams would split the WAC championship. A Dodge City win would give the Red Demons the conference title outright for the second straight season.
"We’ve had a great season so far but it’s not over and the boys need to realize that we have to be focused every game and this game is really important," Hernandez said. "I think the boys are going to come out with the same intensity that they came out with today. It’s going to be an emotional game and whoever handles their nerves the best will be the ones who win."