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Dogies get revenge on Outlaws

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Walter Sprague/NLJ Peyton Simmons steals the ball from an Outlaw forward, saving an attempt on the Dogies’ goal Saturday in Newcastle’s victory over Rawlins.
Sonja Karp, NLJ Sports Editor

The Dogies knew heading into last week that they were in a must-win situation if they wanted to keep their state berth dream alive. Facing the No. 2-ranked Trailblazers in Torrington on Thursday was going to be a challenge, and the squad was ready to get revenge for their loss to Rawlins earlier in the season when the Outlaws came to town on Saturday.

Head coach Sally Hoover headed to Torrington without a sub on her team, and although the Dogies fought the entire 80 minutes of  play, the ‘Blazers came away with the 8-1 win over Newcastle.

On Saturday, the Dogies hit the pitch with a vengeance, scoring early to turn the tables on Rawlins and send them home nursing a 3-1 loss. The win over the Outlaws was vital in keeping Newcastle in the hunt for the state tournament.

“I wasn’t even sure we would have enough guys to play against Torrington on Thursday,” Hoover admitted. “There were times that a player had to come out for one reason or another, so then we were playing a man down with only 10 on the field.”

“I was pretty proud of the boys who went, because that was going to be a tough match-up against  a good team,” she continued. “We had guys who were playing positions that they don’t usually play, so that made it even harder on the boys.”

Torrington was able to get on the board early, scoring within the first four minutes of the contest. A couple of minutes later, the Dogies fouled a ‘Blazer in the box, which Torrington used to go up 2-0, then found the back of the net two more times before the end of the first half to go into the break with a 4-0 lead.

“At that point, we just told the boys to use the game as a learning experience,” Hoover said. “They were pretty down, so we just wanted them to go out there and play the best soccer they could.”

In the second half, the Dogies kept playing hard against the ‘Blazers, despite the adversity they were facing, and were able to make a couple of runs before time ticked off the clock. About halfway through the half, Zach Orsborn scored a goal for the Dogies on a penalty kick from just inside the Torrington’s half.

“Zach just took a beautiful shot that went right over the keeper’s head,” Hoover said. “Zach just has the boot to get the ball in the net and he usually puts it right on frame.”

The ‘Blazers were able to double their score in the second half to take the 8-1 victory.

Keeper Will Beastrom was kept busy and had a good day in the net, making 26 saves on the day, 12 in the first half and 14 in the second. The Dogies were also able to get 11 shots on goal throughout the game.   

Caden Esposito received a gash on his knee which sidelined him late in the game, then the injury kept him out of uniform for the contest on Saturday as well.

Despite losing Esposito, the Dogies did have a player on the sidelines against the Outlaws which was a relief for Hoover.

The team got off to a great start, taking advantage of a PK, which Jacob Powers used to find the back of the net just four minutes into the contest.

“Colter [Christensen] actually scored a goal, but it was called back due to a handball violation by Rawlins,” Hoover explained. “But then Jacob shot a beautiful PK to finish anyway.”

Just four minutes later, Jacob Abu Zhara, on an assist by Christensen, created a nice open shot right in front of the goal to find the back of the net to put the Dogies up 2-0. Newcastle continued to dominate the contest and attack the Outlaws’ goal to hold the score differential heading into the half.

“That was one of the better halves we have played for awhile,” Hoover said. “The boys were communicating, they were moving, and they really executed the game plan we had for Rawlins.”

With the goal of taking the game five minutes at a time, the Dogies returned to the pitch continuing to execute the game plan and denying Rawlins the opportunity to get back in the game.

Six minutes into the second half, Rawlins fouled Newcastle again in the box, and Powers stepped up once again to get the ball past the keeper. With a 3-0 lead, Hoover’s squad felt a little pressure lift, but continued to keep their effort up.

The Outlaws were finally able to get on the board when they snuck one past Beastrom with six minutes remaining. The Dogies held them out for the remainder of the contest to take the 3-1 victory.

The Dogies need to win out this week against the Bearcats in Douglas on Tuesday, then against Buffalo at home on Friday. In addition, they need a little help from Rawlins in order to punch their ticket to the state tournament.

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