Galena boys kick Carson out of first place

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For the first time since the opening night of the season, the Carson High boys soccer team finds itself out of first place in the Sierra League.

Blake Minor scored in the 43rd minute from about 16 yards out, and that turned out to be the only goal of the game as Galena edged Carson 1-0 Saturday afternoon at Carson High School.

Carson dropped to 8-1, while Galena, which played without Carlos Garcia, improved to 8-0-1.

"We played well," Carson coach Eric Masters said. "I think we came out scared the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes of the first half we played well. They are a good team. I think this was the best (4A) game played in the north this year."

Masters won't get any argument from Galena coach Marco Merlo.

"It feels good (to be in first)," Merlo said. "It's more about improving with every game you play. I imagined this. One mistake or one better play is what really turns the game and that's what happened today."

The mistake Merlo was referring to led to the game's only goal. Carson had two opportunities to clear the ball out of its zone, but failed each time, and Minor, after taking a pass from Brandon Welch, made the Senators play by beating Carson's Marco Magallon with a hard shot into the left corner of the net.

"We made one mistake and that's when they scored the goal," Masters said. "Sam (Hutchinson) whiffed and was unable to clear the ball. Mistakes happen.

"It's tough to go undefeated. The kids will be all right. I have all the confidence in the world they will bounce back from this."

Carson had a good opportunity to tie the game with 29 minutes left on a direct free kick from 30 yards. The ball appeared to deflect off he crossbar, and the Galena goalie covered up, as Carson was unable to put in the rebound.

Minor had a chance to make it 2-0 a couple of minutes later. A high through ball got by a Carson defender, and Magallon came out to grab it. Minor got there first, but his shot sailed well off target.

Carson had a few chances in the final 21 minutes, but came up empty, once off a corner kick and once on a centering pass. Luis Camacho tried to one-time the corner kick, but missed. Galena was able to clear the centering pass away. Jason Martinez had a good look in the 74th minute, but he was off target.

"One the things I had a problem with was the 50-50 balls," Masters said. "We did a much better job (winning our share) in the second half."

Masters praised the play of Christian Navarro, Victor Romero and Hutchinson, who played in a defensive role a lot of the game. He did a great job of advancing balls up the field for the Senators.


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