GERING, Neb. -- The homecoming for the Gering boys soccer team didn’t go quite as well as they had planned as the Bulldogs suffered a 1-0 setback to Cheyenne Central on a chilly Monday night at Memorial Stadium in Gering.
“I thought our kids played outstanding,” Gering coach Justin Clark said. “I just applaud our kids’ conditioning and their ability to go out do what I asked them to do. They played their hearts out tonight.”
Although the Bulldogs’ first home match was a loss, the coaches, players and fans seemed thrilled to be playing in Gering. Gering had spent the previous seasons playing its home matches at the Landers Complex in Scottsbluff.
Clark said some minor fixes are needed for the football field at Memorial Stadium to be in the right shape for soccer, but he believes the school is moving in the right direction to make the field more suitable for both soccer squads.
“We’re a little narrower than we would like to be because of this curb,” Clark said as he pointed at the old track around the football field. “That’s one of the big projects we’ve got going this summer — to get this [field] taken care of and widened. But the greatest thing is being back in Gering.
“Maybe the shape is not as good as it could be because we played football on it all year, but our crew does a good job getting everything ready for us, and the fact that we get to stand here and play in our hometown – that’s big for us.”
Gering (1-2) played solid throughout Monday’s contest, giving up the only goal of the evening in the 74th minute on a tough play for Bulldog goalkeeper Dylan Weatherington, who finished with 10 saves out of 11 shots on goal. Gering fired six shots on goal.
Despite the late goal, Clark lauded Weatherington’s effort.
“He was outstanding,” Clark said. “I don’t know how he did it. He made some saves that I just don’t know how he was able to do that. He just played out of his mind tonight. Unfortunately, they did get that one, but that was nothing on him. They had a good ball, and he just got caught in between in that no-man’s-land area, and he just chipped him a little bit and there’s not much you can do. He played his heart out tonight.”
Although the Bulldogs were held scoreless, Clark was pleased with his team’s overall effort despite not having its full roster.
“If you noticed, we only played 12 kids tonight, so we had one sub come in,” Clark said. “He was a late call up — one of our freshman JV players who we decided to bring along.”
The Bulldogs will try to bounce back today when they host North Platte. The Gering girls are scheduled for a 4 p.m. start time while the boys are set to kick off at 6.