The Durango High School boys soccer team beat the Erie Tigers in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs 3-1 on Thursday at DHS.
The outcome of the game, however, was up in the air until the final few minutes.
The Demons got on the scoreboard first in the 26th minute when sophomore Owen Carozza came off the bench and scored while falling down.
“It bounced off a defender, and I tried putting it on frame to challenge their keeper a bit,” Carozza said. “It was amazing to get that first goal to put us up in the first round of the playoffs.”
The score stayed 1-0 until 65th minute, despite Durango firing shot after shot after shot on goal.
“Overall I think we played really well,” said DHS head coach Aaron Champenoy. “In the first half, we were extremely dominate and held them to one chance.”
On that one chance, Erie fired a hard shot on goal from close range, but DHS goalie Fred Reiter made the stop.
“Our goalkeeper made an amazing save to keep us in it in the first half,” Carozza said. He also said the team’s defense did “great.”
One of Durango’s best chances in the first half came in the fifth minute. Senior Ryan Bell centered a ball in the box, and senior Sam Carozza dove to get his head on it. His shot, however, just missed wide.
In the second half, DHS kept pressuring Erie, but most of the team’s shots were just off target, even though many were close enough to force Erie’s goalie to jump or dive to try and stop them.
Erie then scored an equalizer in the 65th minute when a loose ball stayed in Durango’s goal box a bit to long, and a Tiger was able to kick it in.
“They kept going at us,” Champenoy said. “That was sloppy defending, and they punished us for it.”
Durango, however, picked it up the pace after Erie tied the game at 1-1.
“We were like, that shouldn’t have happened,” Owen Carozza said. “We just have to keep working, play our game and get that goal back.”
With four minutes left in the game, sophomore Tyrek Webber scored what proved to the game-winner for Durango. From about 30 yards out, Webber booted a shot across the goal and into the far corner of the net to give Durango the lead, 2-1.
“The goal by Teryk was a tremendous effort,” Champenoy said.
“That made the whole team feel really good,” Owen Carozza said.
In the game’s final minute, DHS finally got an insurance goal when Webber centered a pass and Owen Carozza kicked it in for his second goal.
“It was coming across and I was a little behind, so I decided to jump for it,” Owen Carozza said.
With the win over No. 28 Erie, No. 5 Durango will get to host another playoff game Wednesday. DHS will play the winner of No. 12 Denver-D’Evelyn and No. 21 Summit.
“It was great to win on our home field with all of the fans here,” Owen Carozza said. “It was a great experience to have, and I hope we can win the next one here.”
No. 10 Grand Junction also advanced to the second round with a 5-3 win over No. 23 Steamboat Springs... Click here to read full article
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