Carson boys soccer beats Tigers
Appeal Sports Writer
Adam Updegrove was the smallest player on the field Wednesday night, but he may have had the biggest impact on the game.
Updegrove has a ton of speed, and he’s got plenty of skill to go along with it. He used a little of both to lead Carson to a 2-1 win over arch-rival Douglas in a Sierra League soccer match at Carson.
The win kept the Senators unbeaten as the first half ended. The Senators are currently 6-0-1, and the Tigers fell to 5-2.
“It felt good,” Updegrove said after the game. “It always feels good when we beat Douglas.”
Especially for Carson’s senior contingent led by Drew Good, Drew Heller, Matt Tillitt and Martin Azzam. They know they have only one more regular-season shot to play their arch-rival before their careers are over, and they wanted to make the most of it.
Updegrove had a hand in both of Carson’s goals, both of which came in the first 28 minutes of the match.
In the 16th minute, Carson goalie Brandon Briggs, with the help of a strong wind, boomed one downfield. Updegrove and Douglas’ Jose Alcaraz went up for the ball, and the referee ruled that Alcaraz went over the top of the diminutive Updegrove in the penalty box, and ruled a penalty kick.
“It was all Brandon (Briggs),” Updegrove said. “I just ran to it and got tripped from behind.”
Up stepped Good. As he approached the ball, Douglas goalie Ivan Gonzales went to his left, and Good put one in the back left corner to give the Senators a 1-0 lead.
“I wanted to step up and put the first one away,” Good said. “They (goalies) guess, so I just try to put one in the corner. You make a decision (where you are going with it) and you stay with it.”
Carson coach Jason Koop said he wasn’t worried about Good.
“During the course of penalty kicks (in Mexico), we felt confident about Drew,” Koop said. “He belted that one into the corner. To me, we have four or five guys that we can call on.”
Updegrove and Good combined on the Senators’ second goal in the 28th minute. Good played a through ball, and Updegrove got behind a Douglas defender and chipped a shot over Gonzales for a 2-0 lead. It was his 10th goal of the season.
“His (Updegrove’s) work rate is tremendous,” Koop said. “He has great skill. What he lacks in size, he more than makes up for with skill. He can beat two or three defenders, which makes the defense have to adjust to cover him. He also has a great shot.”
Douglas coach Milko Vasquez blamed defensive breakdowns on both goals. He said that on the first goal, Eddie Vega pushed too hard (on offense) which left Meza alone in the back.
“He (Updegrove) is non-stationary,” Vasquez said. “He is all over the place. It’s easy to defend (him) if you communicate. We pressed so much we left people open.”
Carson had the advantage of playing with the brisk wind in the first half which led to a 5-2 edge in shots.
Douglas had trouble mounting an offense into the strong wind in the first half. The Tigers didn’t possess the ball well at times, and John Nuthall, Matt Tillitt, Jorge Guevara and Brian Duran did a stellar job on defense. The Tigers’ best opportunity in the first half came when Edgar Arceo tried to score on the short side against Briggs, but was turned away.
“After we scored the second goal, we got a little nonchalant,” Good said.
“Our attack let us down,” Koop said. “We got out of our game plan.”
The Tigers, going with the wind in the second half, cut the deficit in half in the 49th minute on Jeff Crozier’s goal.
Carson was called for a foul, and Vega lofted a free kick toward the crowded goal area. Briggs leaped up to grab the ball, but apparently collided with a Douglas defender and lost control. Crozier tapped in the rebound.
The final 31 minutes were scoreless, as neither team showed a lot of offense. Goals were at a premium last night, but physical contact wasn’t. This was one physical game, one where a few more yellow cards probably should have been served, and even a red card or two could have been handed out.
“It was a typical Carson-Douglas game,” Vasquez said. “It wasn’t very pretty.”
“It’s always physical,” Koop said. “It’s a matter of who can keep their head the best.”
JV: CARSON 3, DOUGLAS 0
The Senators finished the first half unbeaten, improving to 7-0 with the shutout victory.
Ian Gunn scored Carson’s first two goals, one in each half. Miguel Camacho scored the final goal from about 20 yards out. Matt Nuthall handed out two assists and Guillermo Alonzo had one assist.
Pedro Chavez and David Yanez shared time in goal and saw little action, as Douglas was held to two shots thanks to the defensive efforts of Aldo Del Razo, Nate Eng, Luis Aguilar, Gustavo Gonzalez and Spencer Roberts.