Dorchester helps De Pere complete comeback vs. Green Bay East
By Greg Bates
GREEN BAY – Just when it looked as though the De Pere-Green Bay East boys’ soccer game was going to end in a tie, a Redbirds player took matters into his own hands.
James Dorchester took an inbounds pass from Owen Fawcett, dribbled around a defender and ripped a shot into the back of the net.
The goal came with just 25.3 seconds remaining in the match as De Pere pulled off a come-from-behind 3-2 victory in nonconference action at City Stadium on Thursday.
“We never give up on our team, we just keep pushing,” said Dorchester, a junior forward. “We’re a second-half team, that’s how I felt. It felt good.”
De Pere (2-1-2) trailed 1-0 55 minutes into the game, but took advantage of their opportunities in the second half.
“These boys from the beginning of the game to the end of the game, they never stop working,” De Pere coach Martin Valenzuela said. “All for it for the boys to never stop and we never lost faith from the beginning to the end. They always know when to work and that’s from beginning to end. Happy about it.”
Green Bay East coach Jim Nash was disappointed his team couldn’t earn at least a tie after fighting so hard for 80 minutes.
“We had them on the ropes. We missed some opportunities, but in the end, overall disappointed,” Nash said. “The boys played hard, that’s the sad part of it. We’ve got to capitalize on opportunities that we get.”
Green Bay East (2-2) notched the lone goal of the opening half as Hayden Josephs, with an assist from Kevin Grijalva Huerta, scored in the 14th minute.
De Pere had its chances in the first half, but East goalie David Rodriguez made a couple diving saves.
“At halftime being down, we weren’t happy about it,” Valenzuela said. “We knew that we were the better team coming into play, and you noticed during the first half that we were the better team as well. We adjusted a little bit with our formation with the boys and where they had to play and they did a good job of adjusting and doing that going out. That’s how the goals happened, the boys listened and did their work.”
The Redbirds broke through in the 56th minute as Dorchester scored with an assist going to Fawcett. About eight minutes later, De Pere took the lead as Aiden Cartier scored off a corner kick by Fawcett.
The Red Devils tied it in the 68th minute on a tally by Grijalva Huerta.
With the clock winding down in the match, De Pere had possession in Green Bay East’s defensive zone. On a throw-in by Fawcett, the ball got onto the foot of Dorchester, and he did the rest, burying the ball in the back of the net.
“I knew from the throw-in that East was not really ready,” Dorchester said. “I knew I could counter off it and beat the last person and get a goal,”
Valenzuela knows he has a good player in Dorchester. The coach loved to see his offensive-minded player take over near the end of the game.
“He’s a brilliant player,” Valenzuela said. “He’s a player that when he has the ball, he sees things moving slowly. He’s a great player where the ball’s on his feet, he’ll see the spaces — when to cut inside, when to squeeze through the defense.”
Instead of settling for a 2-2 tie, the De Pere players and coaches left a sense of relief after the winning goal. Dorchester is happy his tally will hopefully give his team confidence.
“I think it pushes us, because when we play conference, who those games really matter,” Dorchester said. “We want to win conference this year, obviously. We go to Sturgeon Bay Tuesday then we have a week off before we play Notre Dame, which will be a fun game on Tuesday (Sept. 13) at home.”
The Red Devils will soon be wrapping up their nonconference slate before diving into Bay Conference action.
“We play these nonconference games due to the fact that they’re better opponents than some of the teams in our conference,” Nash said. “We get ready for conference by playing a tough nonconference schedule. Hopefully, it’s a learning lesson for the boys.”