Soccer season arrives with spring
     2011-03-24      By Pedro Escobar    news@geringcitizen.com
The flowers are blossoming; bare trees are once again florescent with green leaves.
Spring is here and so is another action packed season of Panhandle high school soccer.
The Gering Bulldogs opened their season on Saturday March 19 in tournament play which included Gering Bulldogs, Scottsbluff Bearcats, Holdrege Dusters, and Kearney Catholic Stars.
In the first half against Holdrege, Gering came out on fire as they had many opportunities to put the Dusters back on their heels, but the Bulldogs could not find the back of the net leaving the first half scoreless. Early in the second half Holdrege changed that as they scored off a free kick that was deflected in from the Gering penalty box.
Midway through the second half Mason Nab blasted a shot in past the Holdrege keeper and tied the game up which would send it into a penalty kick shootout. Joey Rasnic was big in the goal as he had two saves which would keep the Bulldogs alive. Behind Rasnic’s great saves the Bulldogs defeated the Dusters 5-4 in the penalty kick shootout. This was the first victory for Gering against Holdrege in nine years.
The Bearcats of Scottsbluff High School had their season opener on Friday March 18 against the Plainsman of Laramie High School. With some key starters missing in the lineup the Bearcats had their work cut out for them as the Plainsman brought a very strong and organized team.
Laramie jumped out on the scoreboard midway through the first half when a series of passes turned into a low near post goal putting the Plainsman up 1-0. Scottsbluff capitalized with a goal late in the second half with seven minutes left to go as Zack Vicharra scored to send the game into overtime.
It did not take long to break the ice in overtime. Laramie brought more pressure and pushed the ball into Scottsbluff territory and scored just three minutes into the first overtime. The Bearcats had some good looks to tie the game up but it wasn’t enough as the Plainsman got the victory 2-1.
Scottsbluff also had a close game against Holdrege as an early goal in the first half by Kyle Hertig opened up the game. The rest of the game was a defensive battle as the Dusters pushed up their attack in hopes of tying up the game. A strong defensive back and goal keeper by the Bearcats prevented any goals from going in, giving the win to the Bearcats 1-0.
Both Scottsbluff and Gering had their way with Kearney Catholic High School as the Bearcats put on a showcase defeating the Stars 10-0. Gering also had a showcase defeating Kearney Catholic 5-0.
Girls soccer brought a lot closer matches as both Gering and Scottsbluff lost to Holdrege by one goal.
The Dusters opened up the game on a first half goal against the Bulldogs. The game had a high pace and speed of play and Gering had their share of opportunities to tie the game but was not able to find an opening to capitalize on. Holdrege came out on top 1-0.
Scottsbluff was able to break open the Dusters’ defense as they were up 2-1 in the first half. Holdrege brought an aggressive mentality in the second half scoring two goals to get a come from behind victory achieving their second win of the season 3-2.
Against Kearny Catholic, the Bearcats were able to find the back of the net as they posted four goals. The Stars had a late surge in the game as they scored two goals in an attempt of tying the game. It was a little too late however as Scottsbluff came out on top 4-3.
Gering also had a close contest against Kearney Catholic. Defense was the key in this game against the Stars. The Bulldogs controlled the midfield most of the game which helped the defenders limit the Stars to very few dangerous shots on goal. Gering scored one goal in each half securing their first victory of the season 2-0.
Overall the Panhandle had a very good day as both men’s and women’s soccer teams showed a lot of promise for a successful and exciting season.

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