One can’t blame Carson boys soccer coach Mike Alvarez for feeling a sense of deja vu.
Back on Sept. 27, the Senators gave up a goal in the 77th minute and lost a 2-1 decision to Damonte Ranch. On Wednesday, Carson allowed a goal on a direct free kick by Chris Riveria in extra time en route to a 3-2 loss at the Jim Frank Track & Field Complex.
The loss dropped Carson to 6-4-1 heading into Saturday’s home showdown at 11 a.m. against Wooster. It wiped out a two-goal performance by Ryan Galvan and a solid goaltending effort by JV call-up Efren Ramirez, who made several key saves and blocked a penalty kick late in the game.
“I feel like Damonte Ranch is our kryptonite,” Alvarez said, his voice dripping with disappointment. “I feel like we had good possessions, especially in the first half, and we had some great looks. Their goalie (Kyle Wilson) did a good job; had a great game.”
“This is frustrating, really frustrating,” said Galvan. “We get ahead, and we start playing defensively.”
Galvan scored twice in a three-minute span of the second half (51st and 54th minutes) to wipe out a 1-0 Damonte lead.
The first goal Galvan appeared to dribble to himself, got a little space from the defender and beat Wilson, tying the game at 1. Three minutes later, Christian Martinez played a ball into the middle of the penalty box, and Galvan headed it in. It’s Galvan’s fifth multi-goal game of the season.
“I saw Ryan running through and tried to put it around the defender,” Martinez said. “This was a tough loss.”
Three minutes later, James Wilson of Damonte hit the crossbar.
In the 67th minute, a Carson player was called for a foul, giving Wilson a penalty kick. Ramirez guessed right, and deflected the ball away. It was the play of the game at that point. In the 70th minute, Edwin Mendoza converted a penalty kick to make it 2-2 after Carlos Alvarado picked up a yellow card. The Mustangs had two other chances to score over the next three minutes, but were turned away. Carson had a good run in the 73rd minute, but didn’t get a shot up, and Alvarado’s header off a corner kick missed the mark in the 75th minute. Carson was called for a foul in the box, and Riveria slipped one in the left side of the goal to snap the tie.
Because of clock stoppage, Carson still had a few minutes, and it pressured the Damonte defense.
It was a tough loss to swallow, but Carson may have found its keeper of the future. Ramirez, save for allowing a first-half goal that went off his hands, played a solid game. Ramirez said the youngster will be the starter the rest of the way.
“He knows when and when not come out,” Alvarez said. “The team has confidence in playing the ball back to him. He made a great save on that penalty kick.”
Ramirez showed no fear when he came out in several 1 on 1 situations or made sliding stops on through balls.