Carson boys soccer beats Douglas
Appeal Sports Writer
Enrique Mendoza made his presence felt against arch-rival Douglas in a huge way.
The speedy Mendoza scored two goals and assisted on another, as Carson High pounded Douglas 5-1 in a Sierra League boys soccer match Tuesday night at Carson.
The Senators, 7-1, maintained a share of first place heading into Saturday’s home match against Hug. The victory gave the Senators a season sweep over Douglas (10-4, 4-4), who lost Kyle Mannschreck to a red card in the second half.
“Obviously we were pretty pumped up,” Carson coach Jason Koop said. “We kept going after them. By no means was it easy. I’m very pleased.”
“This was huge to beat them twice,” Mendoza said. “They are our big rival.”
It looked pretty easy at the outset when the Senators scored 48 seconds into the match.
Mendoza centered the ball to Drew Good, who converted from short range against back-up goalie Andrew Andraski. Douglas started the game with starting goalie Jose Alcaraz at fullback.
“He creates,” Douglas coach Milko Vasquez said. “He knows what to do with the ball.”
“We switched Cheeks (Mendoza) from the right to the left (during the game),” Koop said. “Obviously they were aware where he was at. The guy that was with him went with him when he switched sides. That speaks volumes of his ability.”
Carson got off seven first-half shots, and converted three of them. Not a bad average when you can score on nearly 50 percent of your kicks.
In the 21st minute, midfielder Zach Weismann won the battle for the ball with Douglas’ Derik Cantley, and then dribbled in and drilled a left-footed shot past Andraski to make it 2-0.
“I saw the keeper playing near and I just placed it at the far post and it went in,” Weismann said.
Carson was on the board 17 minutes later, converting an indirect free kick when Alcaraz was called for a dangerous play in the penalty box.
Weismann tapped the ball softly to Mendoza, who beat Andraski to make it 3-0.
“We couldn’t just shoot it right away,” Weismann said. “Somebody had to touch it first.”
“It was just something we came up with at the last second,” Mendoza said.
Koop said that the team does have set plays in that situation, and lauded Mendoza for his shot, which had little chance of being stopped.
Douglas’ Oscar Gonzalez had a good opportunity in the 39th minute, but his shot sailed over the crossbar. The Tigers managed just six shots on goal in the first 40 minutes.
Mendoza made it 4-0 in the 51st minute when he took a through ball from Christian Volker and beat Alacarez, who took over in goal for Andraski. Alacaraz came too far out of the goal. Mendoza’s shot bounced off the DHS keeper and rolled into the net.
Brady Roser capped the Carson scoring in the 53rd minute with a score.
The Senators appeared headed for a shutout, but goalie Brandon Briggs was whistled for a foul in the penalty box, and Michael Gransbery beat Briggs, who was given a yellow card after the goal was scored. The center official told Koop that Briggs was using profanity.
Douglas, unofficially, got off only nine shots, which was a tribute to the improving Carson defense.
“The defense is what we’ve been working on solidifying,” Koop said. “Mats (Boehnke), John (Nuthall), Andrew (Hill) and Drew (Heller) have played superb the past three or four matches. The defense is what drives our offense.”
Meanwhile, Douglas will go back to the drawing board, especially on offense. The serious scoring attempts were few and far between.
“We were very impatient on offense,” Vasquez said. “We just started playing longball. That was an issue. It’s not something we work at. They put a lot of pressure on us.
“They are deep. Things don’t drop off much when they sub. We came out flat.”
And, that’s not good in a rivalry game. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster.