The dream lives on.
Thanks to two goals by Guillermo Hernandez and a blocked penalty kick, the Carson Senators won their sixth consecutive post-season game, blanking Hug, 3-0, Monday night to advance to the 4A semifinals. The win kept the Senators’ dream of back-to-back regional and state titles alive.
Carson, which won five straight post-season games last year, will face Spanish Springs, a 5-0 winner over Damonte Ranch, Wednesday at 6 p.m. at North Valleys. Galena will face North Valleys, a 2-1 winner over Wooster in the early game at 4 p.m. The winners of those games will play Saturday at noon at Damonte Ranch.
The Senators knocked off Spanish Springs, 2-1, in a crossover game earlier this year.
“I thought we dominated that game,” Carson coach Frank Martinez said. “I feel we had a lot of good shots. They (Spanish Springs) haven’t lost in quite a while. It’s the playoffs, and anything can happen. It will be a good game.
“I think we were a little nervous tonight. Once we settled down we were OK. I was happy with our passing and the shots we got. (Goalie) Efren (Ramirez) came up big on that penalty kick.”
The Senators scored what ended up being the game-winning goal in the 21st minute when Hernandez, who had nine regular-season goals, was tripped up in the penalty area. Hernandez pounded the penalty kick home in the left corner of the net to break the scoreless tie.
“I never try to switch up (on where I’m going),” Hernandez said.
Approximately 15 minutes later, Ramirez made the play of the game after Christian Martinez was called for a penalty. Alex Villanueva tried to put one away, but Ramirez made a diving stop and then covered up when the ball briefly got loose.
“I’ve always been pretty good stopping penalty kicks,” Ramirez said. “I try to get in the shooter’s head and see if I can guess which way he is going.”
The only other time Wooster cam close to scoring was when a shot got chipped over Ramirez’s head. Isael Lopez cleared it away.
There were just a combined three shots on goal in the first 40 minutes, as the teams played a lot of kick ball. Neither team controlled the ball very well.
Hug had the first two shots on goal in the second half, one each by Bryan Garcia and the other by Rodrigo Velasquez.
In the 52nd minute, Rogelio Herrera re-injured his knee, and didn’t return. His status for Wednesday’s game is unknown. He has been in and out of the CHS line-up recently because of his knee injury.
In the 54th minute, Carson almost scored when a cross hit the crossbar and bounced away, and moments later, Eddie Porter had a shot blocked from about 10 yards away, and the Senators eventually got a corner kick.
Instead of lofting one toward the goal, Porter sent a pass to Hernandez, who was coming in on a dead run. His screamer got past Oscar Lopez to give the Senators a 2-0 lead in the 56th minute.
“I told Eddie (beforehand) if he sees me running in to pass it, and so I took the shot,” Hernandez said.
In the 78th minute, Carson got a goal from Angel Gonzalez, who had just been called up from the JV squad.