Carson boys soccer beats Fallon
Appeal Sports Writer
The Carson Senators boys soccer team came prepared for a tough opening round match with the Fallon Greenwave and that’s exactly what it got.
In spite of meeting stiff resistance, the Senators never stopped attacking and outshot the Greenwave, 30-8, to take a 3-2 victory in the first round of the NIAA Northern 4A Regional Soccer Championships Saturday at Carson High School.
“When you’re coming into zone, everyone’s pumped up,” said Carson center midfielder Zach Weismann. “Everyone’s going on adrenaline.”
That included the 6-foot-2 Weismann, who drilled a rocket from about 30 yards out and beat Greenwave goalkeeper Eduardo Sanchez, giving the Senators a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
“They were just leaving me open,” Weismann said. “They were even saying, ‘Go to the left.’ I went to the left every time and one went in.”
But Fallon was as hard to shake off as a melted piece of gum on the sole of a shoe and Alfredo Gonzalez beat Carson keeper Brandon Briggs from about 40 yards out to tie it, 1-1, in the 23rd minute.
“This team always plays with a lot of spirit and heart,” Fallon coach Nate Waite said of his Greenwave. “To be honest with you, we’re not too experienced. We have two boys who have never played before. I’m proud of their effort tonight.”
Even after the Senators went up, 2-1, on a header by Micah Laack off a corner kick from Enrique Mendoza in the 33rd minute, and in spite of the 16 first-half shots Sanchez faced, Fallon wasn’t about to fold.
Scott Wardwell scored on a 20-yarder to tie it, 2-2, in the 37th minute, and forced the Senators to keep up their intensity the rest of the way.
“Carson is a tough team,” Waite said. “Obviously I wish it had gone our way. Of course you always want to win. These boys, I believe, played to their potential.”
Carson coach Jason Koop said his team wasn’t about to come in with its guard down.
“We just talked about how No. 4s come in with a lot of energy and excitement to knock off No. 1s,” said Koop, whose Senators improved to 17-1 on the season. “Fallon had extra energy and was very fast. Their players gave 80 minutes, We didn’t expect anything less.
“The first round is always tough. People come out pumped up, whether they’re (seeded) 2, 3, 4 or 1. They came out to play. I give them credit.”
So did Carson left midfielder Mendoza, who scored the game-winning goal in the 54th minute.
“It was a hard fight for us,” Mendoza said. “It’s the playoffs. Everybody steps it up. They were the fourth seed, so we had to step it up. Every team is going to come after you.”
“I felt, as a team, we worked the ball very well,” Koop said. “We’ve played well the last three or four games and it carried over here. When we hit the corners, we got good attacks. We were able to hit Cheeks (Mendoza) or (Drew) Good on the attack.”
Briggs finished with two saves, while Sanchez was forced to pull down 11.
The Carson victory sets up a third meeting with the Reno Huskies, who defeated Galena, 3-2, at Damonte Ranch High School on Saturday.
“I’m ready,” Weismann said of the impending match. “I think we can do it again. We’re all excited.”
“It’s going to be a good match,” Mendoza said. “I think we can take them again. We have to come back 150 percent stronger. We’re going to try to go to the championships.”
Carson twice defeated the Huskies this season by identical scores of 3-1.
“It’s tough to play a team three times and win three times,” Koop said. “They know what we have and we know what they have. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins.”
Asked if his team had accomplished all he wanted it to do in defeating Fallon, which finished its season 9-7-4, Koop hedged a little.
“Winning was what we wanted to do,” Koop said. “Do we have things to work on? Yeah. We have three days to do it.”
Carson and Reno will meet in the regional semifinals Thursday at Damonte Ranch High School. The game begins at 4 p.m.
Only the Northern 4A Regional champion will advance to the state tournament, which will be held in Las Vegas.