Starting slow and finishing fast seems to be the way Carson High’s boys soccer team operates.
After shooting blanks in the opening 40 minutes, the Senators scored four second-half goals, three by Cristian Hernandez, to topple struggling Douglas, 4-2, Wednesday night in a Sierra League soccer match at CHS.
The win upped Carson’s record to 6-2, while Douglas dropped to 1-6-1.
“We’re a notoriously slow starting team,” said assistant coach Mike Alvarez, who was filling in for head coach Mehdi Samii. “I’m not sure why. We’ve played different people in different positions. It seems like it takes time for us to warm up.
“In the second half we got on a nice roll. Overall we played well, especially the second half.”
Carson outshot Douglas 12-4 in the second half. The ball was in the Tigers’ defensive end much of the final 40 minutes.
“I’m happy,” Douglas coach Vince Brown said. “We’ve been going through a rough patch. We’ve been only playing half a game, and not in the second half. This is the best we’ve played. We played a whole 80 minutes.”
The Tigers certainly didn’t have an answer for Hernandez, who converted three of his six second-half shots to get his first hat trick since his freshman season.
“People say it’s always going to be an easy game against Douglas but it never is,’ Hernandez said. “It’s always a challenge, but that’s OK because I like challenges.”
Hernandez probably should have had four goals, but he missed a penalty kick, a rarity for him. Douglas goalie Luke Heinrichs was called for a foul and given a yellow card when he knocked Hernandez to the ground in the 50th minute. Eman Montoya deflected the PK away to keep the game scoreless.
“My penalty kicks have been good this year,” Hernandez said. “He may have guessed right, or I gave away where I was going.”
Hernandez got his revenge three minutes later when he scored on a free kick, his shot just finding the lower left corner.
“I saw that the goalie didn’t set up his wall the right way,” Hernandez said. “He left a little bit of room (to his right).”
After Ryan Galvan had a couple of looks he was unable to convert, Douglas’ Edgar Hernandez beat Gustavo Villagrana, tying the match at 1 in the 60th minute.
That seemed to energize the Senators, who tallied three goals over the next 13 minutes to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
Cristian Hernandez found his bother, Guillermo, with a nice pass and the freshman beat Heinrichs with a shot to the right corner for a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute.
“It was a give and go pass.” Guillermo Hernandez said. “I just saw the opening and put it in the right corner.”
In the next seven minutes, the elder Hernandez scored twice.
Douglas scored its final game with less than two minutes left, as Andy Lopez slipped one past Villagrana to make it 4-2.
The win fives Carson a little momentum heading into Saturday’s home match against Galena at 1 p.m.
“We already beat Galena at their place,” Alvarez said. “We’re hoping we can repeat that.”