The message was simple for the Carson High boys soccer team at halftime.
“You’ve got to play with urgency,” said Carson coach Frank Martinez about what he told his team at halftime. Carson trailed at halftime 1-0 but took the message from Martinez to heart.
Daniel Escalante scored three goals as CHS went on to a 4-1 win over Damonte Ranch on Wednesday at CHS. Escalante scored his three goals in the last 13 1/2 minutes to break a 1-1 tie.
Carson (6-6-5, 3-2-3 in the Sierra League) clinched a spot in the Northern 4A playoffs with the win.
The Senators are now in third but could move into second place with a win over Wooster at CHS in a game set for 10:45 a.m. today. In the two teams’ first meeting, Carson and Wooster battled to a 0-0 tie.
CHS would clinch a first round playoff game at home if it finishes second.
“This was a crucial win,” Martinez said. “I told the boys we needed to win this one.
“We had to win this one. At least we know we’re going to be in the playoffs. It’s now a matter of getting home field.”
Damonte came out and dominated the action at the beginning and broke through for a 1-0 lead in the first eight minutes. That goal stood up until halftime.
Martinez said he told his team at halftime it had a standard to maintain.
“Carson soccer’s known for being up there,” said Martinez on what he told his team about the Senators’ success over the years. “They needed to play possession and controlled soccer and smart soccer.”
It didn’t take long for Carson to strike as Angel Valdez sent a ball down field into the box to Omar Mora, whose shot bounced off the goalie and into the net to tie the game 1-1.
Adrian Lopez almost gave Carson the lead with a shot from more than 20 yards out that bounced off the bottom of the crossbar.
But then David Gonzalez centered a pass from the corner into the box to Escalante, who scored on a header about 13 1/2 minutes left in the game.
With five minutes left, Escalante found the corner of the net on a shot from more than 20 yards out to make it 3-1. Escalante broke free for another goal just before time expired for the final margin.
Martinez said Escalante and his seniors led the way for his team to make the playoffs on senior night. “Danny’s one of those seniors,” he said. “He stepped it up.”