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Boys soccer: Dawson edges Manitou Springs in first round of 3A soccer tournament

  • Dawson's Jacob Wolhandler moves the ball up the pitch in...

    Dan Mohrmann / For

    Dawson's Jacob Wolhandler moves the ball up the pitch in the Mustangs 3A playoff victory Thursday.

  • Dawson's Wyeth Thompson controls the ball during the Mustangs 3A...

    Dan Mohrmann / For

    Dawson's Wyeth Thompson controls the ball during the Mustangs 3A playoff victory Thursday.



MANITOU SPRINGS – If nothing is broken, most people wouldn’t try to fix it. Dawson boys soccer coach John Siegrist isn’t most people.

He had to think long and hard about how he was going to play No. 13-seeded Manitou Springs in order to give his team a shot at winning and advancing in the Class 3A state soccer tournament.

He opted to change his formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 to utilize a forward-attacking midfielder. His gamble was rewarded with a 1-0 win and another planned trip to the Colorado Springs area on Tuesday.

“We haven’t played this way in any of our games except for this one,” Siegrist said. “We switched our formation to play these guys and it worked.”

It was in the seventh minute of the game when Dawson seized control. Rio Sueyoshi had the ball with a line at the Manitou Springs net and was hoping to skid it off the wet grass. He didn’t connect how he wanted, but Manitou keeper Zach Talbot was also thrown for a loop and the ball was deflected off him and into the net, putting Dawson up 1-0.

“It wasn’t the hit I planned on,” Sueyoshi said. “I intended to skid it against the ground since it was a little wet, but it went off him and ended up going in.”

From then on, Dawson’s (11-3-2 overall) plan centered around ball possession. Manitou couldn’t tie the game if they didn’t possess the ball.

Sophomore keeper Tony Aieta steered away any shots that came his way and was saved once by the goalpost.

Manitou Springs launched an offensive onslaught as the final minutes ticked away, but were unable to pull even which came as a surprise to coach Ben Mack.

“I didn’t think that they were going to score another goal on us after that first one went in,” Mack said. “I thought we were going to get one. I thought, fully, in my heart of hearts we were going to get one, maybe two.”

But when the seconds ran out, it was the visiting Mustangs who were moving on, not the home Mustangs.

Up next for Dawson is another trip south on I-25 to take on Colorado Springs Christian School, who plays in the same Tri-Peaks league that Manitou Springs does.

“Tomorrow we won’t practice,” Siegrist said. “We’ll take a nice rest and come back on Monday to get ready for Tuesday.”

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