4A SOCCER: Carson boys fall short
RENO – Carson High’s goal under first-year coach Eric Masters was to compete for a regional championship.
The Senators missed by one goal, falling 2-1 to North Valleys in the NIAA 4A boys regional semifinals Wednesday night at Damonte Ranch.
North Valleys moves on to Saturday’s noon final against Spanish Springs, while the Senators’ season ended at 13-2-3.
“It was a successful year,” Masters said after the game. “We had only three seniors. We have a lot of young players returning (13 in all). The future looks bright.
“It came down to them capitalizing on their chances more than we did. We had our chances. That’s just the way the game is sometimes. You have to put chances away when you have them.”
Each team got off nine shots on goal and both goalies, Marco Magallon of Carson and North Valleys’ Hector Mendoza had four saves each. It doesn’t get any more even than that.
“It was a really well-played game at both ends,” North Valleys coach Ian Stoddard said. “They had some really good chances. They took the lead on a great goal, but we were able to battle back.
“We stayed with our plan which was to mark No. 10 (Jason Martinez) and keep him under wraps, and I thought we did that.”
North Valleys dominated the first nine minutes, as Carson seemed to have a case of the playoff jitters. In the 15th minute, Sam Hutchinson headed the ball over the goal, and about a minute later Johnathan Lopez blasted one off the crossbar.
Martinez did score Carson’s first goal in the 21st minute, taking a nice cross from Luis Camacho and beating Mendoza.
Nine minutes later, Edgar Garcia-Ponce evened the game at 1, taking a nice through ball and outracing the Carson defenders and beating Magallon.
Neither team threatened the rest of the half.
In the second half, each team mustered a few scoring opportunities, but converted none of them until the 28th minute when Garcia-Ponce played a through ball to Alex Martinez, who gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
Masters felt that his defenders didn’t play either goal really well.
“We gave them a little too much room,” Masters said. “We stepped up too late, and that gave them an opening to run to.”
“They did give us some (extra) space,” Stoddard said. “We were trying to move guys around and create confusion. I think it paid off.”
Carson never had a serious scoring threat after that.
North Valleys had one in extra time, but Michael Samii grabbed the North Valleys attacker by the shirt to keep him from advancing the ball. Samii ended up getting a red card on the play.