Boys soccer: Senators advance to NIAA semifinal
Christmas came a little early for the Carson High boys soccer team.
With the score tied at 1 in the first 15-minute overtime, Carson’s Johnathan Lopez’s left-footed shot was deflected by Reno’s Luke Fuller past his own goalkeeper for an own goal, giving the Senators a 2-1 win Monday night in the NIAA 4A regional quarterfinals.
The win advanced Carson into Wednesday night’s 7 p.m. semifinal at Damonte Ranch against North Valleys, a 1-0 winner over Wooster.
In other games, Galena beat McQueen 5-0 and Spanish Springs shut out Damonte Ranch 2-0. Galena and Spanish Springs play at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, also at Damonte.
The own goal came with approximately 6 minutes 35 seconds left. It started with Gustavo Gonzalez chipping the ball to Lopez, who didn’t get off a very strong shot. The spinning ball went off Fuller into the net. Seconds after the ball went into the net Lopez was swarmed by his teammates.
“I’m not left-footed,” Lopez said. “I didn’t think it would go in. I just turned away because I thought I had messed up. I thought the goalie had it, and when I turned around the ball was in the net.”
It brought a joyful end to the match, which lasted around 90 minutes. Carson dominated the entire first half, but missed several good scoring opportunities. Reno played much better the second half, making it difficult for Carson to get those same good looks in the final 40 minutes of regulation.
“Luck was on our side (there),” Carson coach Eric Masters said. “It was a great game both ways. I told the team before the game that we needed to put away our chances, and we didn’t do that.
“I thought we were the better team. We had more dangerous chances. I felt like we possessed the ball and attacked (more).”
Especially in the first 40 minutes. Carson outshot Reno 12-2, and all but three of Carson’s shots were on goal.
Gonzalez had two good opportunities in the first 10 minutes. He fired one over the crossbar in the third minute, and then missed from about 10 yards approximately two minutes later. Midway through the half, Gonzalez slammed one toward the corner that Reno keeper Nick Morales made a diving stop on.
In the 38th minute, Gonzalez finally scored from about 30 yards out to give the Senators a 1-0 lead. Gonzalez almost had a second goal about a minute later, but missed the net from inside 10 yards.
“When I missed a shot I kept saying to myself that the next on would go in,” Gonzalez said. “It happened.”
In the 59th minute, Carson had a great chance to go up 2-0, but Francisco
Barrios, after taking a pass from Gonzalez missed the goal from point-blank range.
“We make that shot we’re up 2-0 and we’re a lot more comfortable,” Masters said. “Then they came right down and scored.”
Erich Snider evened the match at 1 with a blast from 30-plus yards in the 61st minute.
Neither team came close to scoring in the final 19 minutes, as the contest got very physical.
In the overtime period, Jaime Lopez blasted one well over the cross and Reno’s Brett Boyer got off a weak shot in the penalty box, which was gobbled up by Carson keeper Marco Magallon. Those were the only scoring chances until the own goal.