What else could be expected but another spirited battle between two of the Northern 4A's top teams for eighty minutes?
Well actually, it may have been just 78 minutes, but who's counting? In the end, both sides may have felt it all went for naught as the Carson boys soccer team battled to a 1-1 tie against South Tahoe on Saturday at CHS. But this was just the first of what could be three rounds as the two will meet again at South Tahoe and could meet again for the NIAA Northern 4A championship.
The game also had a controversial ending as Drew Good was knocked down in the goal box after beating a defender with the ball, but no call was made. Instead of Carson received a possible game-winning penalty kick, play went on.
But not for long. While the scoreboard clock showed 78 total regulation minutes had been played, the official called the game, saying 40 minutes and one minute of injury time had actually been played in the second half.
In the end, Viking coach Christian De Leon said one could see "the amount of respect we have for each other" after the contest.
Carson coach Jason Koop was still bugged by the no-call on Good after the game. "It was a foul," he said. "I'll probably get nailed for it (the comment), but I'm sorry."
Koop, though, knew his team had plenty of other chances to win. "I felt we played well the whole match from top to bottom offensively and defensively," he said.
Thanks to the play of goalie Josh Doherty, South Tahoe stayed in the game as Doherty denied several excellent Carson chances. Ironically, it was Doherty's mistake that allowed Carson to take the lead in the second half, but otherwise his play was outstanding.
De Leon said the score could have easily been ("3-0, if not more") at one time if not for the play of Doherty.
"Carson's always a tough team to play," DeLeon said. "They know how to play. They're we developed. They do a great job. "They exploited our weaknesses in the first half. It's to be expected."
In the first two minutes of the second half, Doherty tried to clear the ball, but Blake Moreland was right there to make the steal and put the ball into the net. Moreland was so excited, he took off his jersey, which drew a yellow card.
But the Vikings responded less than two minutes later. Andres Munos sent a long ball to the right side of the net where Gavin Chandler was there to scored on a header, tying the game 1-1.
Good then had an excellent chance from the left side, but Doherty was there to make the save. A little later, Moises Fernandez centered the ball from the right side to Nik Marsh, but Doherty was there to disrupt the play just enough to deny the chance. Marsh had another shot that was heading into the net before Doherty made the save.
Late in the game, Brandon Briggs, who made five saves, made a diving save on another Chandler header to keep the game tied.
Carson had two point blank range shots in the first half. Adam Updegrove was stopped in the first two minutes by Doherty. After Chandler had a shot that hit the crossbar, Brady Roser then made an excellent kind of half scissors pass to himself with his back to the goal to beat the defender.
But Roser couldn't finish the shot and Doherty made the save. Doherty also denied Updegrove on another shot late in the first half. Others who took shots for Carson included John Nuthall, and Matt Tillit.
When asked if he was pleased with his team's play, De Leon said, "Very much so, especially in the second half. They did what we asked of them. They did it to a tee."
DOUGLAS 3, HUG 2
Douglas (7-2), which was missing several key players, came back twice to pull out the win at Hug. The Hawks took the lead in the first seven minutes on a defensive mistake.
The Tigers responded after Eddie Vega was fouled just outside the goal box. Edgar Arceo took the shot on the direct kick and it hit the post, but Kyle Gardner was there to score on the rebound to force a 1-1 halftime tie.
Jose Alcaraz, who was moved from goalie to sweeper, made a mistake when he failed to clear the ball and that led to a goal that gave Hug a 2-1 lead. But Alcaraz was then moved to midfield and redeemed himself when he scored on a header on an assist from Vega to make it 2-2.
Vega then scored the game-winner with 10 minutes left that Douglas coach Milko Vasquez described as "probably the goal of the year."
Off of an assist from Jeff Crozier, Vega put a shot from just outside the goal bgox into the upper part of the net. "It was just an unbelievable shot," Vasquez said.
Ivan Gonzalez came up from the junior varsity to play at goalie. Brian Jaggard and Robbie Forest also played well for Douglas. The Tigers will next play at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Reno High at Douglas in the first night game in school history.