Sean Gorman / The Duncan Banner
The Duncan Banner
After taking time off the pitch for spring break, the Duncan soccer teams are gearing up for their final challenge before the start of district play.
The Demons (0-3) and Lady Demons will hit the road to compete in the Chickasha Invitational from Thursday to Saturday. The Demons will enter play with a newly adopted aggressive approach against Moore, while the Lady Demons will be out for revenge against first round foe Classen SAS.
During its time off, it was all about Duncan getting back to basics.
Head coach Marcus Williams said the team spent its two weeks in between games focusing on conditioning, and basic passing, first touch and dribbling drills.
“We’re using this tournament as a final tuneup for district play,” Williams said. “This is a chance for us to come out as champions before a really important time of the season.”
Should Duncan defeat Moore (1-2) in its opener, Williams said he expects to face Capitol Hill in the Invitational’s second round and Chickasha in the finals.
After scoring just two goals in its first three games, the Demons will be on the offensive.
“We’re going on the attack and take chances,” Williams said. “I think a more aggressive approach can do us some good.”
A scheduling conflict has the Demons playing the tournament’s only game on Thursday and the team will finish play with two contests on Saturday. Should the Demons win, they would play the second round at noon and the finals at 8 p.m.. Williams said the eight hours in between start times will be challenging for the teams that advance to the finals.
After allowing three goals in each of its first two games, the Demons defense took a step up in its last contest, a defeat to Lawton Eisenhower than remained tied until a shootout following regulation.
“Defensively there were a lot of positives from that game, it was the most organized we’ve looked so far this year,” Williams said. “If we can stand up guys like we did against Eisenhower, we can win some games.”
It’s been a year since Duncan fell in the final seconds to Classen SAS (1-2), but the loss hasn’t been forgotten in the minds of many Lady Demons players.
Duncan will have a chance for redemption when it opens the invitational against the Lady Comets.
“The girls who were here last year, they still remember it,” Lady Demons coach Delydia Gay said. “We feel like we should have won that game. Overall, we’re just expecting to pick up where we left off.”
The Demons were Jekyll and Hyde in its last two contests, falling 10-3 at Lawton and recovering to edge out Eisenhower 2-1.
“We really don’t even think of that Lawton game, Gay said. “We didn’t play like the team we are in that game and we’ve moved on.”
Chickasha will serve one key purpose for Duncan: helping the team prepare one last time for district play. When the tournament concludes Saturday, the team will finish the regular season with seven district matchups in three weeks.
In that final stretch, the team’s biggest challenge will be staying consistent and avoiding letdowns like the Lawton loss, Gay said.
Play for the Lady Demons begins Thursday against the Lady Comets.