"I thought we were a little flat. We didn't have much communication," Moreland said. "I guess you can take that as a positive that we didn't play our best and still won, but I don't want it to become a habit. We have to play better in the next game because that's the big one. The two winners Thursday automatically go to state."
Tuesday's triumph means Spanish Springs has earned a berth in Thursday's regional semifinals. The Cougars will meet Carson, a 3-0 winner over North Valleys in another of Tuesday's quarterfinal matchups. First kick is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. at Damonte Ranch High School, the neutral host site for Thursday's semifinals and Saturday's 2 p.m. final.
Spanish Springs (16-0-2), the High Desert League champion, dispatched Sierra League No. 4 seed Damonte Ranch after scoring a goal before halftime and another just after it. The Cougars broke the scoreless tie 16 minutes into the postseason affair. Gabby Vasquez gave Spanish Springs a 1-0 lead after Marshall Andrews contributed an assist.
The 1-0 margin stayed intact into the intermission, but didn't last long after it. In the first minute after the break, Ricardo Camacho found the back of the net for the Cougars. Victor Garcia gave away the assist on the 41st minute goal and the hosts had their insurance score.
Spanish Springs out-shot its guests from Damonte 20-10. Most of the Mustangs' shots were off target as Cougars goalkeeper Omar Trujillo needed just two saves to record the shutout.
Moreland was ecstatic to survive and advance in tournament play, but he reiterated how his team could've communicated better on the pitch.
"We had too much dribbling. We had no communication. That's why we didn't score more. We had so many chances to put them away early," Moreland said. "We're still growing. We have played well at times, but we still have not played our best.
"We did cover well for each other tonight, but that's because we made too many mistakes. Damonte didn't punish us for those, but the good teams will punish us."