Demons cap off perfect regular season with 2-0 win
By: John Zetmeir
The Dodge City High School boys soccer team had many goals coming into the season.
One of those goals was to win a Western Athletic Conference championship.
The Red Demons crossed that off of their list with a 2-0 win over Liberal on Thursday night. Not only did Dodge City (16-0, 8-0) win a second consecutive outright conference championship, they finished the regular season as the only team in Kansas with a perfect record.
“It shows how much we’ve been working throughout the season and the hard working that we’ve been putting in,” Dodge City head coach Saul Hernandez said. “We never thought about getting an undefeated regular season but we take it game by game and this is the reward for the hard work.” Since Hernandez took over as the Red Demons head coach in 2015, they have not lost a conference game.
Dodge City kept bending Liberal’s defense but could not get it to break it for the first 30 minutes of the game until junior Eddie Del Toro put the Red Demons ahead 1-0.
After earning a corner kick, junior Mario Martinez passed the ball to Del Toro near the corner of the penalty box. With a Liberal defender closing in, Del Toro shot the ball with his first touch and beat Liberal’s goalkeeper with 10 minutes to play in the first half.
“Coach Hernandez gives us the plays and we try to run them to the best of our ability,” Del Toro said. “I had a good pass and the defender was on me already so I one timed it and luckily it was in the net.”
With just over 4 minutes to play in the first half, a Liberal foul in the penalty box gave Dodge City a penalty kick that junior Joshua DonJuan turned into his 19th goal of the season.
The game got interesting in the second half as both Liberal and Dodge City were forced to play with just 10 men because of red cards given to players on both teams in the closing minutes of the first half.
“Our boys held their nerves,” Hernandez said. “It got a little rough towards the end of the first half with both teams getting a red card but the boys held their own. They played smart and they did what they needed to do.”
The Red Demons will celebrate their 16-0record and their second straight outright WAC title for now but they know what is on the horizon. Starting on Tuesday, the Dodge City boys will begin their journey back to state where they took third place last season.
“It’s a good feeling but we have to stay focused to next week,” Del Toro said. “The job is not done yet.” Dodge City will host Wichita Southeast on Tuesday for the first round of regional play.