Demons will stay home for first round of postseason

Steve Lewis/Durango Herald file photo

All eyes will be on Steffie Wilson and Durango on Tuesday. The Demons will host Discovery Canyon in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs.

By Ryan Owens Herald staff writer

Make it a cool seven in a row for the Demons.

The Durango High School girls soccer team qualified for the playoffs for the seventh year in a row, and DHS will host Discovery Canyon on Tuesday at Riverview Sports Complex in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs.

The time of the game has yet to be determined.

Durango (10-4-1) won five of its last six games to get into this position, ending the year tied with Fruita Monument for second place in the Southwestern League at 6-3-1. The Demons are seeded 12th, with Discovery Canyon at 21.

“It’s good for us,” first-year DHS head coach Dalon Parker said. “It shows promise. ... Even though we lost as many seniors as we did, our young talent is just progressing.”

The question for the Demons in recent years hasn’t been making the playoffs. Rather, it’s been getting past the first round. The last time Durango advanced past the opening round of the postseason was 2008. The Demons have been bounced in the first round the last four seasons.

Parker said he thinks this team can avoid that pitfall.

“This team, I honestly believe it has what it takes to get over that hump of that first-round exit,” Parker said. “We’re physically ready. We’re physically as strong as we’ve been in awhile.”

Parker added that DHS hasn’t been too shabby mentally, either, as the Demons have started to adjust on the fly in practice and are beginning to master particular concepts Parker’s been harping on all season.

“We’re not asking the same repetitive questions,” Parker said. “Players are starting to fix things on their own and adjust things on the fly like you’ll need to do sometimes in a playoff game.”

Discovery Canyon (8-5-2) hails from Colorado Springs and finished in a three-way tie for fourth in the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference at 3-3-1. Fellow Pikes Peak squad Air Academy is seeded fifth and will play No. 28 Mesa Ridge for the right to face the winner of DHS and Discovery Canyon.

DHS will enter the game not having played since April 27. The Demons will be looking to knock off the rust, but Parker has plenty of confidence in his side, and he’s hopeful they’ll respond well in a playoff atmosphere.

“It’s looking good. That’s where we’re at,” he said. “You never know until you play that game. Just that playoff environment, you never know what it’s going to bring. ... We’re physically and mentally ready to play.”

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