RENO — Carson’s Daniel Escalante cleared the ball in front of the net shortly after the game had started and the Senators had dodged a bullet. But there were more bullets to come the Senators couldn’t dodge.
The Carson High boys soccer team allowed three goals in the first 17 minutes and those goals stood up as Hug went on to beat the Senators, 3-1, in a NIAA Northern 4A first round playoff game on Monday at Rollins Stallworth Stadium.
“It was just tough tonight because we gave them some early goals,” Carson coach Frank Martinez said.
Despite the loss, Martinez said his team has a bright future after finishing third in the Sierra League this season.
“This was pretty much a rebuilding year,” Martinez said. When asked if he was looking forward to next season, Martinez said, “Oh for sure I’m looking for next year. I’m really excited about next year.”
One of the big reasons why Martinez is looking forward to next year is junior goalie Leonardo Barajas, who showed why he was the Sierra League Goalie of the Year this season. Barajas made 10 saves against Hug, including several highlight reel efforts.
But Barajas’ effort wasn’t enough to overcome the loss of two starters in David Gonzalez and Kaden Walt, especially Walt, who’s a defensive starter.
“Unfortunately that’s where they got us,” Martinez said. “I adjusted, but unfortunately it was too late.”
Hug scored twice within the first eight minutes to take a 2-0 lead.
In the first four minutes, Barajas was forced to come out on a one on one situation, but couldn’t keep Hug from taking a 1-0 lead. About four minutes later Hug beat the CHS defense to take a 2-0 lead.
Barajas went on to make a diving save but Hug kept threatening and Barajas made another diving save. He couldn’t control the ball, though, and Hug scored off the rebound to take a 3-0 lead.
Carson’s best scoring chance came late in the first half when the Hug goalie made a diving save on Omar Mora’s shot. Barajas then made another diving save to keep the score 3-0 at halftime.
Carson came to life to begin the second half scoring in the first 90 seconds off of Mora’s corner kick. Ariel Vega took the corner kick in front of the net and sent a short crossing pass to Escalante, who scored. But CHS couldn’t sustain the momentum.
Barajas later made one last outstanding diving save. Barajas’ night ended late in the game when he came out to stop a Hug breakaway with what appeared to be a clean tackle, but Barajas was given a yellow card on the play.
Notes: Carson’s Omar Mora and Jose Antonio Torres were also named to the all-Sierra League first team. Named to the second team for Carson as Escalante. Honorable mention choices for Carson were Ricky Gonzalez, Jose Godinez, Robert Casarez and Angel Valdez.