Bulldog Abbie Barnum #22 scores goal number 27 for the season in a 1-1 tie with Desert Pines Wednesday at the Mesquite Recreation Center field. Photo by Lou Martin

In a continuing battle for third and fourth place in the upcoming 1-A Sunrise League playoffs, Virgin Valley High School and Desert Pines High School squared off Wednesday with no direct winner of the match as it ended in a 1-1 tie.

“We need to win today,” said Bulldog Coach Bob Snell prior to the start of the match. “This is the biggest game of the year to determine who controls third place. We beat them earlier in the season and a win would guarantee us third place in case of a tie with the Jaguars. We still have a lot of business to take care of.”

The Dawgs came out with an aggressive defense and offense, surprising the Jaguars. The Dawgs had the opportunity to take the lead at the 22 minute mark but a goal shot soared high over the goalpost.

Desert Pines got the first corner kick of the match 25 minutes in but could not finish. The Lady Bulldogs took advantage of three straight corner kicks pressuring the Jaguars defense. Bulldog Abbie Barnum struck goal in the middle of the box surrounded by teammates and defenders. The Bulldogs led 1-0 at the 35 minute mark but the lead was short lived as the Jaguars caught the exuberant Bulldogs by surprise and struck goal 35 seconds later. The half ended 1-1.

The second half was a defensive struggle although each team had the opportunity to score but could not finish.

Bulldog goalkeeper Spencer Green made two straight saves 54 minutes in to keep the Jaguars at bay. The Bulldogs had one last opportunity with approximately two minutes remaining on a corner kick. The Jaguars played it well as the game ended shortly thereafter in a 1-1 tie.

Desert Pines outshot the Bulldogs 13-8 for the match. Barnum’s goal was her 27th of the year, exceeding last year’s 26 in her freshman season.

The win gave the Dawgs a 5-2-2 league record versus Jaguars 6-2-2 record.

“Both teams knew what they had to do today,” said Coach Snell. It was a great soccer game between two evenly matched high school teams. I’m proud of the girls for hanging in against a good team.”

The Dawgs will travel to Tech on Tuesday, October 21 before hosting Del Sol on October 23.