Dowagiac starting to focus on state tournament
With just three matches remaining in the regular season, the Dowagiac soccer team is beginning to turn its attention toward the post season.
The Chieftains are just 2-11-2 this year and 0-7 in the Wolverine Conference following a 5-0 loss to visiting Sturgis Monday.
Injuries continue to plague Dowagiac, which head coach Ryan Haines said has led to a difficult season.
“Overall, we have to get healthy,” he said. “We had to make some changes to today’s rotation due to injuries and we just have to get back to the basics.”
Sturgis was able to take advantage of those changes to open up a 3-0 halftime advantage on a pair of goals by Emma Borland and a goal by Morgan Pueschel.
Borland and Pueschel scored the two second half goals for the Trojans as well.
Dowagiac goalkeepers Grace Younger and Mara Nelson finished with a combined 20 saves, while Sturgis’ Sam Prestige had to stop just two shots.
Haines is hoping that playing the likes of Sturgis and tonight’s opponent, Otsego, will help prepare the Chieftains for the post season.
“Playing an extremely tough Wolverine Conference schedule has showed us how we have progressed so far this season,” he said. “Our results have been on both ends of the spectrum and we are working to make our way to the district final on June 4.”
In order to achieve that goal, Haines said his team needs to work on possession of the ball and building through the central midfield.
“Our defense has done its job throughout the season and we have been able to work on wide play,” he said.
And there is more to the team’s story and its record.
“Our younger players have really stepped up this year,” Haines said. “Freshman Kellyn Daly leads the team in goals and the midfield play of Anayda Lucio has given the team added depth in different positions. Also, goalie Grace Younger has now eclipsed the 200 save mark on the year with at least five games left to play.”
The Chieftains travel to Otsego tonight for a Wolverine Conference match before hosting Coloma at 5 p.m. Friday and Paw Paw in their league and regular season finale at 5 p.m. Monday.
STURGIS 5, DOWAGIAC 0
Sturgis 3, Dowagiac 0
S – Emma Boland 29th minute.
S – Morgan Pueschel 36th minute.
S –Boland 37th minute.
S – Boland 50th minute.
S – Pueschel 60th minute
Sturgis 2 (Sam Prestige)
Dowagiac 20 (Grace Younger 13, Mara Nelson 7)
Varsity records: Dowagiac 2-11-2, 0-7 Wolverine Conference.