Sanchez's pass turned goal beats Reno

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Shot or pass? Until after the game ended nobody knew for sure.

Four minutes into Tuesday's playoff opener, Carson High's Evan Sanchez sent a ball from the far right side of the field to the back post. The ball hit the left post and caromed past Reno keeper Nicolas Morales into the net.

That turned out to be the only score of the match, as Carson held on for a 1-0 win over the Reno Huskies, set up a semifinal game at 7 p.m. Thursday at Damonte Ranch against Galena.

"I wasn't trying to score," Sanchez admitted minutes after the final whistle went off signifying the end of the match. "It had a little bend to it. I was just trying to get the ball to the far post and hoping somebody would get a head on it."

That score wasn't even close to being one of Carson's best chances to score a goal. Carson outshot Reno 18-10 and had several open-net opportunities only to see shots sail high, wide or go straight at Morales.

"It wasn't very pretty," Carson coach Eric Masters said. "We had so many chances, We knocked it right at their keeper four or five times. The more you do that, the longer a team sticks around.

"They (Reno are good). Their keeper is good. They have some good players. I don't know what it is about Carson. Teams play up to Carson. It's never easy."

Reno had a good scoring opportunity in the 22nd minute which went wide left. Cristian Hernandez and Jonny Lopez missed good opportunities, both coming in the latter stages of the first half.

In the 52nd minute, Sanchez was fouled just outside the 18-yard area, but his direct kick sailed high over the crossbar. Hernandez also misfired in the 58th minute, and then in the 72nd minute he had the goalie out of position and missed again. Make any of those and Carson wouldn't have had to sweat out the final minutes of the contest.

Marco Magallon had four saves, as back row defenders Zach Smith, Zach Bruce, Michael Samii and Christian Navarro all played well.

"I thought we played better defense the first half," Smith said. "We were connecting our passes better. The second half we were just trying to keep the lead and just clearing the ball out."

So now it's a third game against the Grizzlies, a team Carson tied twice in the regular season. Masters said who the Senators play didn't really matter.

"We know them (Galena) better," Masters said. "We just need to stick to our game plan. We have to take care of our chances."

"Galena will come out hard," said Smith. "They always play hard."


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