YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Archived Stories

Great Scot! DHS survives quarters

By November 10, 2010

Enterprise staff writer

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Rain can be a great equalizer in sports.

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And as the mist constantly fell Tuesday on a homestanding league champion, a visiting runner-up started believing in miracles.

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But on this drizzly, cold evening at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium, Davis High had a secret weapon — and thanks to his advice, survived the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section boys soccer tournament.

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Beating Pleasant Grove, 1-0, on a Ryan Gross goal 10 minutes from time, the Blue Devils now get the winner of a St. Mary\’s/Edison quarterfinal contest. The semifinal game is Thursday in Davis. Time is to be determined.

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Back to that secret weapon: DHS assistant coach David Robertson … of Motherwell, Scotland.

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“I just told them to be proactive,” explained Robertson, who is used to the conditions from when he played in his native Great Britain. “In this weather, it\’s good to gamble. A gamble can really pay off … go after a ball you might not.”

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It was that thinking that set up the game-winner.

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After collecting an errant Blue Devils pass, Pleasant Grove goalkeeper Andres Garcia got off a short clearing kick. Davis\’ Dylan West hung back, anticipating — gambling on — a mishit. He got it.

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Simultaneously, Gross had gambled on a bad Eagle play. He had already started his run down the west sideline.

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At this point, Pleasant Grove was twice caught flat-footed, getting bad traction on the wet surface: once when West cleanly collected the Garcia dud and passed wide to his junior wingman. Then the Eagles were stunned a second time as Gross tucked his shot near post.

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“That\’s a pretty good goalie,” Devil coach Ashley Yudin said of Garcia. “I was surprised Ryan went that way. I wonder if he meant to.”

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When Yudin asked Gross if that was the intention, the reply was honest:

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“Nah. I just hit it.”

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Pleasant Grove (15-4-3), which had decided at the beginning to pitch a four-man wall in front of Garcia, now had to press forward.

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For what seemed like an eternity (it was only the final three minutes of the game), the Eagles launched balls into the attack zone. With Yudin yelling “Get rid of it” from the sidelines, sweeper Alex Vivona, Gross and Tom Nolan kept saving the night.

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Finally, as Blake Zimmerman wound up and whiffed for Pleasant Grove, the end-game whistle blew

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as one last clear rolled to a stop at midfield.

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“Yeah, it got rough out there,” Gross said, his jersey dotted with blood. “But it\’s the quarterfinals. The teams come in hard. We expected that it would be that way … especially after the goal.”

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Pleasant Grove, the Delta River League\’s second-place team, drew three yellow cards and DHS had one. The Blue Devils (23-3-2) outshot the Eagles, 10-8.

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Notes: A crowd estimated at 175 braved the elements on Tuesday. … Midfielder Jacob Weiss missed the game with strep throat, according to Yudin. … Seventeen times since 1984, Jesuit or DHS has appeared in the section championship game — but never against one another. In different brackets this year, the two schools are on a collision course to meet in Saturday\’s finale. The Marauders beat the Blue Devils, 2-1, on Oct. 2. … “This is barbecue weather in Scotland,” Robertson said after the game.

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