RENO — As the final whistle sounded, Carson High’s Josilyn Daggs dropped to her knees in frustration, knowing the goal of repeating as regional champions was gone.
Despite a dominating first 40 minutes, the Senators were knocked off by Galena, 1-0, on the strength of a penalty kick by Victoria Hagan Saturday in the Division I championship game at Bishop Manogue.
The only solace for the Senators is they still have at least one game left in the season. By finishing second, Carson earned a trip to the state tournament at Carson Friday and Saturday. The Senators will face Coronado, a 2-1 winner over Green Valley at 8:30 a.m. Galena will face Arbor View (10:30 a.m.), a 2-0 winner over Bishop Gorman.
“We had so many chances,” Daggs said. “It’s not that we lost, it’s that we couldn’t put away the goal. We actually had a goal (by Chantal Torres), the ball was over the line, but the official said it wasn’t.”
“Sometimes soccer gods aren’t with you,” Carson coach Greg Lehman. “We had opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to score. We just didn’t put it in the net. Their goalie (Greer Sullivan) made some good saves. The fact that we still get to play another game doesn’t make me feel any better. We wanted to win regionals and get the No. 1 seed.”
Carson’s Sammi Gutierrez fired a shot on goal in the first two minutes that Sullivan handled, and nine minutes later, Jamie Perez’s header went wide left. Between the 17th and 25th minute, Carson had four shots on goal — two by Chantel Torres and one by Daggs and Mayra Oliveras — including the aforementioned Torres shot that appeared to be a goal but was ruled a save by Sullivan.
In the 30th minute, Lindy Lehman tripped up a Galena player in the penalty box, and the Grizzlies were awarded a penalty kick.
Hagan pounded the PK, but Carson keeper Karla Reyes deflected the ball. The ball bounced out in front of her, and Hagan put it past Reyes. Carson coaches were calling for an off side to no avail. By rule, defensive players can go toward the goal once the ball is kicked. There was no Carson defender in sight when the ball squirted loose from Reyes.
Carson had another good scoring chance three minutes later, but Daggs was unable to covert, sending the shot wide right.
The Senators had a couple of good runs in the second half, but managed just two shots on goal in the first 33 minutes. In the 34th minute, a Carson player was pulled down in the penalty box, giving Carson a chance to tie the game. Perez and Daggs discussed the situation, and Perez took the attempt. She was wide left, unable to drive the ball between the posts.
“The girls made the decision. They talked,” coach Lehman said. “Jamie thought she was feeling it.”
“She (Perez) said she had it, and I trusted her,” Daggs said.
It’s still a mystery why Carson wouldn’t have its best offensive player, Daggs, take the kick. Daggs scored 18 goals this season by far the most on the talented Carson squad.
“If we play this coming week like we did today in the first half, we have a chance to win state,” Lehman said.
NOTES: Carson assistant coach Brian Slusser was ejected after arguing calls from the bench... Senior midfielder Kiahna Pimental is expected to rejoin he team on Monday, assuming she has cleared up her academic issues... Samantha Bishop was inserted in goal late in the game and Reyes was moved to forward...Carson is now 12-3-4.