Carson boys soccer beats Reno

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Carson's Drew Good celebrates a first half goal for the Senators in their game against the Reno Huskies in Carson City on Saturday. Carson beat Reno 3-1.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Carson's Drew Good celebrates a first half goal for the Senators in their game against the Reno Huskies in Carson City on Saturday. Carson beat Reno 3-1.

When the Carson and Reno boys' soccer teams met Saturday at Carson High School, it figured to be about two teams fighting for first place.

But in the 65th minute of a 3-1 victory for the Senators, it nearly turned into just a plain old fight.

Carson's Micah Laack and a Reno player got tangled up on the ground and after both teams convened for some jawing, the Huskies' Casey Wardell came in after the fact and punched Laack. Carson's Enrique Mendoza moved into the fray to protect his teammate and ended up taking a shove from Reno's Ethan Strawn.

As it turned out Wardell and Laack were shown the door, drawing red cards, but the Senators ultimately proved they are in the fray - so to speak - for the Sierra League title.

"This is the intensity we need to have for 80 minutes of every game," said Carson coach Jason Koop, whose Senators improved to 6-1 in league and 8-1 overall. "South Tahoe beat us, they beat South Tahoe, now us beating them...all three teams are good."

And all three teams are in a first-place tie.

Laack found Drew Good in the 11th minute as the Senators took a 1-0 lead on the Huskies, who fell to 6-1, 8-1. Thirteen minutes later it was Mendoza locating Laack for a header and the Senators had a two-goal lead.

"Micah had a great header," Koop said. "If you're by yourself, you don't have to move. Good got their keeper (Juan Lopez) to come out. He (Good) got his foot into it and got it into the back of the net."Carson outshot Reno in the first half, 11-4, but one of those shots got by Senators goalkeeper Brandon Briggs and the Huskies headed into the break down only one goal.

Two minutes after the second-half dustup, Carson's Christian Volker crossed to Brady Roser, whose shot deflected off Lopez's jabbing hand and into the net for the 3-1 lead.

Carson ended up outshooting Reno 20-8.

"We knew they'd be big and physical," Koop said of Reno. "We're good-sized ourselves. We talked all week about what they (the Huskies) do and how physical they are. The boys were prepared and focused. They were fired up and ready to go."

Especially following the fracas.

"Other than the call (on Laack) and the scuffle, I thought it was a good match," Koop said. "They are a good team. I think they (the officials) thought Micah was a little overzealous in his retaliation. I pleaded his case.

"The melee that happened is going to happen between two teams fighting for first place. The heat of the moment gets to players. Those that maintain composure come out on top. We stayed with what we've been doing. We struggled against South Tahoe and Wooster and won and we turned it around today."

Briggs recorded two saves, something for which Koop credited his defenders.

"The midfielders played well in the center and made Brandon's job a little easier," Koop said. "They eliminated the free ball from going through. Mats (Boehnke), John Nuthall, Drew Heller and Andrew Hill all played superbly, as did our guys up front - Brady (Roser), Zach Weismann and Drew Good."

Koop said Saturday's victory also boiled down to being familiar with the other team and making plans based on that knowledge.

Said Koop: "We knew a few of their players knew us. We knew their game plan and understood what they were trying to do. It was about knowing it and preventing it and making it do different things."

A main point of focus was Reno's Sergio Mercado and Wardell.

"We knew that Sergio plays it to 16 (Wardell), who gets the ball back to Sergio. He has a good left foot, so we forced him as much as we could to the right. We put our center midfielders on Sergio enough for him not to get through."

Up next for Carson is a rematch with Douglas, whom the Senators defeated 3-1 on Sept. 9 in Minden.

"I'm sure Douglas will want to bring it to us," Koop said. "Douglas is a game you don't have to get anybody up for. The boys are ready to roll."

The Carson-Douglas match begins 7 p.m. Wednesday at Carson High School.

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