MINDEN - After a hard-fought, physical and surprisingly high-scoring 4-4 draw Saturday afternoon, it was no surprise that coaches for both the Douglas and Carson boys soccer teams were left saying similar things.
Following the game, both coaches were looking for more consistency out of their respective teams.
"We've done well, but we just haven't put together a complete 80 minutes in a match," Carson coach Mehdi Samii said. "If we could do that, we should be fine. Right now, that is the focus for us."
Douglas coach Vince Brown echoed those sentiments for his own team.
"We just switch off for periods of time," Brown said. "We keep talking about it, but it is something we are battling with. When we play our game, we do well. But then we get taken out of what we do."
Saturday's match saw wild swings in momentum and control of possession throughout.
Douglas scored goals in both the first and last minutes of the match, Carson converted two second-half penalty kicks and the lead changed hands four times - a nearly unheard of number in soccer.
It was Douglas' Jake Passas who got things started, scoring a mere 15 seconds into the match on an assist from Jaden Mustacchio.
Carson's Francisco Barrios got behind the Douglas defense on a slotted ball in the fifth minute and chipped a high arcing shot over Douglas keeper Jonathan Gomez's head and just under the cross bar for the early equalizer.
The Senators took the lead in the 10th minute when Barrios went airborne to head in a nice cross from the left side for the 2-1 lead.
"We basically focus on always playing to the feet," Samii said. "We are quick on the feet. When we stick with that, there is a lot we can do. When we start playing long balls we are not good at that, we are not a tall team. We got to 2-1 and we started to take our foot off the pedal."
The Tigers tied the game up in the 30th minute when Connor Holman crossed to Mustacchio, who scored to the right post.
Seven minutes later, Mustacchio sent a ball in to Edgar Hernandez, who dribbled once and beat the Carson keeper to the right side of the net for the 3-2 lead.
The second half went fairly even, with the Senators' Miguel Ortiz sending a penalty kick to the left post in the 45th minute to tie the game up at 3.
Neither team managed any huge scoring opportunities over the next 30 minutes, but Carson was awarded a second penalty kick in the 76th minute which Barrios sent to the right post for the 4-3 lead.
The Senators largely controlled possession and even set up a number of opportunities over the following five minutes, but Douglas' Passas got loose on a 1-on-1 break with a little over a minute remaining in injury time. His shot was deflected just wide, giving the Tigers a corner from the left side.
The resulting corner trickled toward the top of the penalty box on the left side and Hernandez collected it and placed a shot just under the crossbar while falling away, tying the game at 4.
"The kids played well," Brown said. "It was never going to be a pretty game. It's a rivalry, it's what you would expect. To get back in the game was good. Any time you're down in injury time, maybe a minute left and you tie it up, you'll take it."