Dodge City, Kan.—As Dodge City and Hays battle back and forth for the top seat in the Western Athletic Conference, every league game matters. Great Bend went to Dodge City looking to boost its ranking in the WAC while knocking off the Lady Demons in their hunt for a league title. The Lady Panthers came in with a good game plan but the Lady Demons persevered 2-0.
Dodge City scored quickly. Senior forward Hoy Lim skimmed through the Great Bend defenders and found her scoring opportunity only minutes into the game. That quick strike dominance was only a glimpse. The Great Bend defense locked down and kept Dodge City from scoring the rest of the half.
“Our offense continues to not give up and continually work hard,” said Lady Demon head coach Virgil Hutchcraft. “Great Bend planned well for us they put four or five defenders back on our two forwards. Even when we had three they had six or seven. They played to keep it a low scoring game but we persevered and took advantage of the shots that we could and the ones we needed to make we made.”
Another factor in keeping Dodge to only one goal in the first half was the Lady Demons’ multiple missed goals. Despite their triumph, Hutchcraft said their shot selection is a weapon they need to work on.
“Communication first and foremost and then our shot selection,” he said. “There were too many times especially in the first half that we had wide opens looks at the goal. We need to work on striking the ball better and making the keepers work a little harder than what we have.”
At halftime the score was still in the Lady Demon’s favor 1-0. Hutchcraft said he knew they needed to make an adjustment.
“I got after them at halftime,” he said. “I just thought our level of intensity and speed of play wasn’t as good as we have been playing lately. We dropped down and relaxed a little too much, so I said we needed to get a little more pressure on them.”
The score remained 1-0 unti 1:14 left in the game. Sophomore forward Scarlett Real exposed a weakness in the Great Bend defense and took advantage. She slingshot the ball into the left corner of the net and solidified the victory for Dodge City 2-0.
“Then it just worked out, the second goal,” Hutchcraft said. “I wanted to talk to Scarlett so I pulled her aside and I opened her up. She worked hard and she got it. She played the ball through the defense perfectly, so it finally got her free.”