Looking strong and feeling confident. That’s how the Douglas Bulldog soccer team is looking heading into the final week of the regular season.
The Bulldogs began the week last week beating Safford 7-1 Jan. 15 in Safford.
Johnny Monnarez’ header gave Douglas a 1-0 lead at the half.
The Dogs didn't take long to get things moving in the second half with six scores.
Javier Buelna had two of the goals while Luis Teran, Ozzie Moreno, Jacob Ortega, and Kirt Cormier each had one.
The Bulldogs out shot Safford 22-4 with Marc Gonzalez having two saves and Estevan Mora one.
The Bulldogs showed no ill effects from the cold or the late night traveling as they easily defeated Empire High School 5-0 the next day in their first home match of the new year.
Just three minutes into the contest Moreno scored on a pass from Cormier and the rout was on.
Five minutes later Cormier scored, then at the 25th minute mark, Jacob Ortega scored the final goal of the first half on an assist from Mario Gastelum.
The Bulldogs didn't let up in the second half as Francisco Orduna scored an unassisted goal at 53rd minute, and Ortega scored his second goal of the night from another assist by Gastelum at the 67th minute mark.
The Bulldogs out shot Empire 25-5 with Mora having two saves and Gonzalez one.
The rematch of the season was Friday night at home against archrival Nogales High School, the Bulldogs only blemish on their otherwise perfect divisional record, a 2-2 tie back in November at Nogales.
Nogales proved to be no match for the fired up Bulldogs who needed only three minutes to score the games first goal by Moreno on an assist by Iniquez.
The Bulldogs controlled most of the first half, and when Javier Buelna burried a 25 yard direct kick at the end of the first half, it left no doubt that the Apaches were in for a long night.
There was no second half letdown for the Bulldogs. Teran and Iniquez teamed up for their third score just five minutes into the half, a beautiful give and go that split the Nogales defense with Iniquez rifling the ball past the Nogales goalie.
Nogales' only score came on a deflection late in the game. The Apaches played much of the second half a man down and finished the game with 10 players on the field as one of its players received two yellow cards.
Douglas out shot Nogales 14-7. Gonzalez had six saves at goalie.
Bulldog soccer Coach Ken Cormier commented that he is really pleased with his team coming together at the right time.
"This was a big week for us, and we seem to be peaking just at the right time,” he said. “The Nogales game had all the excitement of a playoff game, and the boys really stepped up and took on the challenge in an impressive manner. The key now is to not let up and keep working harder as we approach the playoffs."
This past Tuesday night was the last regular home match of the season against Santa Rita. Prior to the game seniors and their parents were honored in a brief ceremony. The final game of the season will be an away match at Santa Rita on Thursday.
First round of the state tournament begins Wednesday, January 30th at a location to be announced.