By Doug Gorman
The Dutchtown Bulldogs soccer team's playoff saga continued Tuesday night with a 4-0 victory over visiting Wayne County.
Like the storms that passed through the Southern Crescent in recent weeks, knocking out the stadium scoreboard and game clock, the Bulldogs struck with lightning-quick precision, getting an early goal and never looking back.
The victory sends the Bulldogs on to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history and improved their record to 14-1-1. It's the deepest any Dutchtown boys athletic squad has ever advanced.
The Bulldogs play at home against Marist on Friday night.
"I have seen us play this well in spurts, but this was really a complete game for us," Dutchtown head coach Justin Smith said. "This is where we want to be at this stage of the playoffs if we want to play for the state title"
Dutchtown added a late goal in the first half and two more in the second half to seal the playoff victory.
Judah Goodrige started the scoring just minutes into the game when he took the ball just inside Wayne County territory and went in untouched for an uncontested goal and a 1-0 lead.
"Scoring that first goal really felt good," Goodridge said. "Then Zach (Silva) came through with the rest and were able to get the big win."
Silva scored three times for the Bulldogs, adding a late goal in the first half and two more in the second half.
With every victory the Bulldogs' confidence is rising.
"Each game the level gets more and more intense," Silva said. "It was important to get that early goal, and once we got scored, we were able to put it away. We are just going to keep going as far as we can."
Tuesday's playoff showdown turned a little bizarre during the second half after Wayne County picked up two red cards and played the last 20 minutes of the game two players down.
The red cards also resulted in two penalty kicks and Silva took advantage, blasting both shots in the back of the Wayne County net to finish his day with three goals.
Although the Bulldogs displayed more than enough offense to win the game going away, the match could have been closer.
One Yellow Jacket goal was taken off the board, after the ball first went out of bounds after rolling over the goal-line before being kicked into the Dutchtown net, but the real defensive story was the play of goalkeeper Mason Hall. Hall made diving save after diving save to turn away several Yellow Jackets attempts."
"We played a great game all around, and our defense played a great game and helped me out tonight," Hall said. "I was a little nervous, but I stayed true to my defense. I just tried my best to get out there and grab the ball."