Carson High came into Wednesday’s home showdown against Wooster with an opportunity to virtually secure the Sierra League regular-season crown with a victory.
Because of a defensive letdown with six minutes left in the match, Carson left the field with a 3-3 tie before the biggest home crowd of the season.
Carson is 7-1-2 (23 points) and Wooster is 6-2-2 (20 points). A win would have given the Senators a six-point lead with six matches left in the regular season.
“It felt like a loss,” Isael Lopez said after the game. “We have to keep moving forward and take it game by game and get ready for the next match.”
“That was what I told the team (a win would be huge),” coach Frank Martinez said. “I knew it was going to be tough. We still have the lead, but a win would have given us a huge lead. All three of their goals we gave to them.”
The last one was especially tough to swallow. Carson had just taken a 3-2 lead in the 73rd minute on a goal by Lopez off an assist by Efren Ramirez.
“I raised my hand and screamed at Efren,” Lopez said. “He played a through ball and I scored.”
For whatever reason, Carson let its guard down, and Jaime Rodriguez got behind the CHS defense and scored the tying goal in the 74th minute.
“They (the kids) thought they had it (the win),” Martinez said. “We let down and they went right through the middle.”
Four of the game’s six goals came in the first half, including three in the first nine minutes.
Wooster’s Jesus Maldonado scored in the seventh minute on a mistake by CHS keeper Jose Rodriguez, who got a bit lazy when he tried to clear the ball out of the Carson end. The ball went right to Maldonado, who scored.
Carson evened the score in the 8th minute when Guillermo Perez lined a corner kick into the middle of the box, and Angel Gonzalez headed it past Wooster keeper Allan Gallegos. Carson has scored several times off corner kicks this season.
Wooster took a 2-1 lead when Sebastian Martinez beat Rodriguez a minute later, as Carson failed to clear the ball out of its half.
Carson tied the match at 2 in the 34th minute when Ramirez manged to control a high bouncing ball long enough to zip it past Gallegos.
Lopez had a couple of opportunities in the last six minutes of the half, but was unable to convert. Carson outshot Wooster, 11-3.
Carson will be favored in five of its final six matches, and the return match at Wooster would have to be considered a toss-up at this point.
“I felt like we were the better team,” said Martinez.
Beglins lead Carson
RENO — Freshman Karen Beglin won her third outright tournament title of the season, as Carson closed out the regular season with a third-place finish in the weekly Sierra League Invitational held at Arrowcreek Golf Club.
Bishop Manogue won with a 374, 20 shots ahead of Wooster and 23 shots better than Carson. Galena was fourth at 425 and Damonte was fifth at 432. Manogue, Wooster and Carson qualified as a team for next week’s regionals at Red Hawk (Monday) and Eagle Valley (Tuesday).
Karen Beglin shot a 2-over-par 74, Jill Beglin had a 78. Kassidy Cooley had a 124, Gabby Montes 125, Jessika Montes 121 and Valerie Wamsley 129.
Karen Beglin was the medalist by four shots over Jill Beglin and Jessica Stanton. Lily Landt of Wooster was fourth at 81 and Kallie Grady of Manogue was fifth at 89.
Karen Beglin had two birdies on the day and her sister had three birdies which helped overcome two double-bogeys.
“Both Karen and Jill continue to play well,” CHS coach Wade Greenlee said. “The other girls shot OK rounds, but their short games are a work in progress. That is the toughest part of the game. It takes time.
“We are only 23 strokes off Manogue’s average, so we have a chance to advance to state as a team if we can up our game next week. We’ll get a couple of rounds in on the West course and see if we can take advantage of our home course.”