There is no better way to celebrate Senior Night than with a victory.
Carson High used goals by Guillermo Hernandez and Miguel Ortiz plus an airtight defensive effort to blank Reno, 3-0, in the Senators’ last regular-season home game of the year Monday night.
Carson improved to 10-3-2 and moved into second place head of Galena by virtue of the win. The Senators visit archrival Douglas on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Senators will be without leading scorer Cristian Hernandez, who picked up his second red card of the season. For the third time this season, Carson finished a game with just 10 players.
“What more can you ask for?” senior defender Adam Shoaf said after the victory. “I think we’re starting to finally play Carson soccer — championship soccer. A 3-0 win is the best score in soccer. It shows you dominated the game.”
The work of Shoaf, Milton Rodriguez, Zach Smith and Angel Gomez on the back line was stellar. Reno only had a few scoring opportunities.
“We played awesome defense,” Carson coach Mehdi Samii said. “We need defense. The defense stepped up tonight. Milton, Adam, Zach and Angel all played well tonight. All the seniors played well. I tried to give them as much time as possible.”
Barring a letdown at Douglas, Carson will host a first-round playoff game Tuesday at 6 p.m. against the third-place finisher of the High Desert League, which could be Hug, North Valleys or Reno. Carson lost to Hug, but beat Reno and North Valleys.
“It would be huge (to host),” Samii said. “We could end up playing Reno again. If it’s Reno, I think that we would have a psychological advantage (because of the shutout).”
Carson had a few scoring opportunities in the first 24 minutes, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Hernandez missed wide right in the 2nd minute, Smith missed wide right in the 16th minute, and Ryan Galvan had shot deflected in the penalty box in the 24th minute.
Carson finally broke the ice in the 25th minute, and it was the Hernandez brothers teaming up to break the scoreless tie. Cristian Hernandez fed his younger brother, Guillermo, who beat the Reno keeper to make it 1-0.
Three minutes later, Carson made it 2-0 on an own goal. Cristian Hernandez fired a shot that hit the right upright, but bounced back into the penalty box area where it bounced off a Reno player and into the goal.
Carson had three more good looks and Reno had one in the half.
Carson’s Oscar Ventura had a chance to make it 3-0 late in the game, but his close-range shot was deflected.
The Senators did make it 3-0 in the 77th minute when a Reno defender was called for a handball, and Miguel Ortiz converted the penalty.
JV: Carson and Reno battled to a 2-all tie. Eddie Porter and Ernesto Hernandez scored for the Senators.