RENO -- If comparative scores mean something, the Carson High girls soccer team might be ready for the Northern 4A playoffs, which begin in two weeks. After a 3-0 loss to Reno earlier this season, a fluke goal was the only one scored in the Huskies' 1-0 win over the Senators on Tuesday at Foster Field.
"We let them win. It was cheap goal but those are the breaks," said coach Mike Popp. "We played a lot better than the first time we played them."
When Reno beat Carson by three goals on Sept. 7, it was the Senators' worst loss since Popp has been in the program. Tuesday night's game was much closer and with the Huskies still in contention for the Sierra League title, it also means Carson, unlike earlier this season, might be playing its best soccer going into the postseason.
"I think we still need to work on our possession and controlling the ball," Popp said. "But we still got a few weeks to get ready for them."
In the 15th minute, Kelly Gabbart took an indirect kick from the right side and when goalie Courtney Hayes came off her line to grab the ball, she misjudged it. The ball went untouched through a pack of players and ended up right on the foot of Rachael Schuster, who then tapped it in for the game's only goal.
Two minutes later, the Senators almost found the equalizer when Katie Kotter collected a through ball from Katherine Rogers inside the penalty box but after several attempts, she wasn't able to get a clean shot off. Sarah Stallings, though, followed up Kotter's last attempt and drove a shot across the mouth of the goal that barely missed the far post and went out for a goal kick.
Then in the 52nd minute, Laura Hale controlled a rebound from a corner kick and sent another ball in the box and watched it sail through the hands of Reno goalie Elizabeth Fox and everybody else before skirting across the goal once again. That was it for the Senators offensively, but the Huskies didn't generate much either.
"We were just one step behind it seemed like," Popp said. "I don't want to make excuses but it still has a little to do with our inexperience."
In the 77th minute, Reno's Brinn Skau dropped a 35-yard bomb that beat Hayes and hit the crossbar, but eventually landed safely in Hayes' hands. A minute later, Kotter chased down a loose ball, barreled over Fox, then scored. But the goal was called back because Kotter was called for a foul.
Carson drops to 6-5 in league and has secured the fourth and final playoff spot. Reno improves to 8-2-1 and can finish second, possibly even first, if it can beat Douglas (9-1-1) next Tuesday in Reno.
"I think it was a little bit closer (than the first time we played)," said Reno coach Steve Asher. "I think we controlled the ball. We're still in the hunt and I think we're peaking at the right time."
CARSON JV 1, RENO 1
Sarah Johnston scored the equalizer in the 52nd minute as the Senators tied the Huskies on Tuesday in Reno.
Carson, which beat Reno 3-0 earlier this season, outshot the Huskies 30-7 in the game. The Huskies scored in the 5th minute for a 1-0 halftime lead.
Carson improves its record to 11-0-3.