RENO — After a critical win in its Sierra League opener at Galena, the Carson High boys soccer team was ripe for an upset.
It didn’t happen.
Striker Efren Ramirez and reserve forward Ronniel Elliott scored two goals apiece, and Isael Lopez, Angel Gonzalez, Julio Loera and Cesar Medina added one each to lead the Senators to an 8-2 win over Bishop Manogue on Wednesday at Nancy Sweet Memorial Field.
Carson is 6-1-1 overall, including a 2-0 Sierra League record. The Senators play Damonte Ranch on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
“We have had trouble here before,” Carson coach Frank Martinez said. “It’s a little field (in width). It’s hard to connect passes here. They are a fit team and they tried to disrupt our play. Once we got things going we broke them down and demoralized them.
“I saw Manogue in the preseason tournament, and they were much better than last year’s team. They actually tied us in the tournament. They had played other teams tough.”
This one was tied after 14 minutes when Lopez and Jacob Bain traded goals. Carson’s offense actually slowed down after Lopez’s goal in the second minute.
In the final 13 minutes, Carson scored three goals in four shots. Not a bad way to end a half and build momentum for the final 40 minutes.
“Frank (Martinez) told us we had to come out strong,” Ramirez said. “After that first goal, we stopped playing our game. We got it back with three in a row right away.”
Ramirez scored in the 27th minute off an assist from Gonzalez to make it 2-1. After Medina misfired in the 32nd minute, he found the back of the net in the 34th minute, and Loera scored in the 36th minute to make it 4-1.
Ramirez, who was the team’s keeper last year, has enjoyed the move to the front line.
“Coach started playing me there in club, and he kept me there when we started in the fall,” Ramirez said. “I love it. Jose (Rodriguez) has stepped up in goal, and that helped (with the decision).”
Martinez went with six subs to begin the second half, and at times the offense was disjointed.
“I felt pretty comfortable,” Martinez said. “I wanted to give some of the other kids some time. I still thought we looked good.”
Ramirez made it 5-1 in the 45th minute. Manogue cut the lead to 5-2, but the Senators scored three goals in the final seven minutes to make it a runaway. Two came from Elliott, and they were the first of his varsity career.
“That was great,” Martinez said. “We’re going to need him to perform well down the stretch.”
Even more impressive was the fact that Carson played without outside defender Raul Lopez and center defender Osvaldo Gomez. Other than a breakdown that led to Manogue’s first goal, the defense was solid.
“Raul may come back (Saturday),” Martinez said. “We’ll see. We’re going to hold Osvaldo out until next week.”
The Senators face perennial power Wooster next Wednesday, and then meet Douglas on Saturday.