The Carson High boys soccer team grew up in a hurry on Wednesday in a 4-3 win at North Valleys.
With 13 underclassmen, the Senators found out a much better effort was needed than the one they put forth in the first half. In the end, it was two of Carson's experienced players -- Dan Berger and goalie Robby Liebherr -- that came through with clutch play that made the difference.
Carson coach Jim Nealis said Liebherr and Berger took control of the game at the end and that Berger "pretty much took the whole team on his back."
Berger gave Carson a 4-3 lead when he took the ball virtually through the entire North Valleys defense. He beat the last defender twice and his shot deflected off of the goalie and rolled past the goal line.
With 30 seconds left, Liebherr preserved the win when he stopped a shot by Falco Gutacker on a one-on-one situation.
"We were very flat in the first half," Nealis said. "We just can't go out and rely on our athletic ability. Other teams are just as athletic as we are.
"They were practically running through us. It was just frustrating to watch on the sideline."
Three minutes into the game, Gutacker gave North Valleys a 1-0 lead. "He gave us problems all game long," Nealis said.
Carson tied it 1-1 when Jeremiah Schenzel took a shot from 20 yards that was saved by the goalie. Schenzel took another shot off the rebound that was saved again, but scored on his third shot in the sequence. "It was just complete perseverence by him," Nealis said.
North Valleys took a 2-1 halftime lead when Ed Ojeda scored. "He was just a real fast forward," Nealis said. "He just kind of broke away and took it to us."
Carson tied it 2-2 45 seconds into the second half when Loren Wooldridge took a pass from Royal Good and beat a defender to score. The Senators led 3-2 when Kurt Schlicker scored on Good's crossing pass.
"It was an absolutely, totally different team," said Nealis about his club in the second half.
But North Valleys took advantage of a Carson mistake to tie the score 3-3. The Senators though Gutacker was offsides, but since they didn't play the ball, no offsides was called, allowing Ojeda to score on a breakaway.