Carson midfielder Gracie Walt dribbles away from Bishop Manogue forward Ella Hallert during the game between the Bishop Manogue Miners and the Carson High Senators.
Jeff Mulvihill, Jr. | InstaImage
Both Carson High and Bishop Manogue girls’ soccer knew Tuesday night’s matchup would likely determine who would be the sixth and final seed in the upcoming regional tournament.
Entering Tuesday, the Senators had played one less contest than the Miners and sat three points behind their opponents.
A 1-1 draw after a 68th minute game-tying goal from Bishop Manogue, leaves the Senators in a must-win scenario Saturday when Carson hosts Douglas in the regular season finale.
“We were depending on this win,” said Carson senior Kaylee Garcia. “I think it just kind of slipped out of our hands, but we have to keep our heads high. There’s still a slim chance, but we need to push it.”
Second half tallies
A scoreless contest at the half, Carson’s Reese Mackenzie snuck in the opening goal off the hands of Bishop Manogue’s keeper in the 43rd minute.
Mackenzie’s goal was her fifth in her last six games, tying her for 8th in the Class 5A North in goals scored this season.
The Miners had been playing with five defenders throughout the first half, playing with a sweeper behind its line of defense.
“I think they were definitely being heavy on their defense,” said Mackenzie.
Following the Senators’ goal, Bishop Manogue shifted strategy and moved Reagan Stephens from sweeper up on the attack.
The move work as Stephens used her left foot to find the right side netting in the 68th minute, tying the game up from just inside the 18-yard box.
With one game, Carson’s seniors know their season hangs in the balance Saturday.
“I think we need to come in knowing we need to have more intensity than we did tonight,” said Mackenzie. “We have to come out stronger.”
Players on both sides knew the stakes of Tuesday’s matchup.
“I feel like we had a lot of pressure today so we tried to do everything too frantic,” said Natalyn Wakeling. “We just need to play how we normally play next game.”
UP NEXT: Carson (4-8-3) will play one final home game this season against Douglas (8-3-2). A win would put the Senators in a tie with Bishop Manogue, leaving it up to a tiebreaker. With a win and a draw against the Miners this season, the Senators would likely take the sixth seed, unofficially, based on tiebreakers.