A late Garden City goal Tuesday was enough to overcome what was an otherwise strong Dodge City performance Tuesday, as the Buffaloes beat the Red Demons 1-0 in Dodge City.
The Garden City goal, scored by senior Noeli Munoz, came with about 13:40 left in the second half, and was less than a minute after a strong save by Red Demon senior goalkeeper Rachel Garcia.
Red Demons head coach Saul Hernandez said he thought the team kept its focus throughout the entire game, except for the play the Buffaloes scored on.
“Looking back at it, I think it’s the only place that we lost our focus, but this is a game of 80 minutes and the one team that makes a mistake is going to lose,” Hernandez said.
Still, the final result didn’t take away from the Red Demons’ performance, he said.
“I’m happy with how the girls came out,” Hernandez said. “You could tell from the intensity in the first half that they really wanted it, and that’s something that we haven’t seen from them in a long time.”
Hopefully, Tuesday’s intensity and performance will become the start of something different for the Red Demons as they hope to finish the season strong and hit their peak, he said.
“We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer to it, and I’m really happy with the performance today,” Hernandez said.
Garcia looked generally solid in net Tuesday night, despite the loss.
“Having Rachel (Garcia) back is big: Someone strong and confident back there,” Hernandez said. “Not to take away from (freshman goalkeeper Daisy Orozco), but I think she sees how Rachel acts and she can learn from Rachel.”
When Orozco first got game action earlier this season, Hernandez said he thought it was kind of a surprise for her.
Now, with Garcia back in net, hopefully she can prepare Orozco for next year, he said.
Still, despite a number of strong performances on their side, the Red Demons fell Tuesday night to a Buffaloes team that also played well. While the Red Demons controlled the possession much of the game, the better scoring chances almost always belonged to the Buffaloes.
“You’ve got to give credit to Garden,” Hernandez said. “They played well, they possessed the ball well, and I’m not going to take anything from them because they didn’t panic and they got the job done.”
Dodge City is next in action Thursday when the team takes on Great Bend in Dodge City’s Memorial Stadium. The varsity game is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.