For the first 80 minutes of Thursday’s regional championship game, the Dodge City High School boys soccer team created opportunity after opportunity.
Lawrence Free State goalkeeper Jonathan Lesslie, along with a sturdy defensive line from the Firebirds, sent Dodge City’s shots back time after time. Free State’s defense bent but never broke over the entirety of regulation which ultimately sent the game into overtime.
The Red Demons had to wait all 80 minutes of regulation but they only had to wait 2 minutes and 11 seconds in overtime for the winning goal. Junior Omar Estrada followed up a shot from junior Joshua DonJuan that Lesslie deflected and found the back of the net to send the Red Demons (18-0) into the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win.
“Like (head) coach (Saul Hernandez) always says, you have to be ready for a rebound,” Estrada said. “The goalie had been deflecting them and so I had to be ready.”
With 7 minutes to play in regulation, senior Antonio De La Torre had a shot blocked at the goal line. In the first half, the Red Demons had a goal disallowed because on an indirect free kick, the ball was not touched before junior Eddie Del Toro blasted the ball into the back of the net. It was that kind of day for Dodge City.