For the Canyon Del Oro Dorados, scoring the first goal early was huge.
Seconds after she was denied on a header, CDO’s Destiny Jones came right back and scored in the game’s fourth minute to give the Dorados a 1-0 lead.
The goal would turn out to be the only goal of the game, as CDO defeated the Marana Tigers 1-0 on Jan. 6.
“Getting that goal early helped us,” said CDO coach Dan Horetski. “It kept us fighting the whole game.”
The Tigers got a few shots on goal in the first half, but nothing very significant against CDO goaltender Megan Baker.
“They dropped five (back) as soon as they scored a goal,” said Marana coach Dan Tarquin.
Jones was happy with the Dorados performance.
“After we scored, we played harder,” Jones said. “We came out thinking we’d get more goals.”
For the Tigers, with exception to the first four minutes, they were competitive for the remainder of the game.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” Tarquin said. “We played as well as we could.”
The Tigers were credited with six shots on goal, while the Dorados had five shots on goal.
In the second half, after a defensive-minded half, with only about two total shots on goal by the two teams, the Tigers got a golden opportunity to score in the final two minutes.
Brianna Martinez got a good shot opportunity, but kicked it just over the goal post with 1:30 left in regulation.
Marana’s Caitlin Ward had a strong shot on goal with six minutes left in the first half, but was stymied by Baker to maintain the 1-0 CDO lead at halftime.
With a one-goal lead, the Doradoes kept the same game plan in the second half.
“We didn’t do anything different,” Horetski said. “If we switch, then we get into trouble. We try to stay consistent with what we do. Our defensive mids, Kat Fpordt and Danielle Neal, helped to control the center. Our offensive mids did a good job distributing the ball.”
Can CDO be a playoff team in 2012?
“If we practice better and focus more in practice. We could be a playoff team,” Jones said.
Horetski said it’s a possibility if the Dorados continue to play like they did against Marana.