Carson boys soccer impressive against McQueen
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – It may still be the preseason but the Carson Senators boys soccer team looked to be in solid midseason form Wednesday, taking a 2-0 win over the Lancers at McQueen High School.
The Senators, led offensively by junior midfielder Adam Updegrove, jumped up early before transforming into a nearly impenetrable defensive wall.
Carson outshot McQueen 13-6 overall and 9-3 in the first half.
“You’ve got to give it to Carson, they played awesome,” said former University of Nevada (2001-05) soccer forward and second-year McQueen coach Annie Baxter. “We’re playing as a team, but we’ve got to be able to score with the ball as well.
“Their keeper (junior Brandon Briggs) did an excellent job coming out. They’ve got great communication.”
“I’m confident in the drop off the ball and when we work it in the back,” said Carson coach Jason Koop, whose Senators improved to 4-1 on the season. “It makes the other team work harder and shift side-to-side and get tired down the stretch. And in the event something opens up, we can capitalize on it.”
Baxter said her Lancers, now 0-2, like to build the game from the back, but that style played into the hands of Carson, who played possession ball from the time Updegrove put his team on top with a close rebound shot in the eighth minute.
“There was kind of a scramble in the (Lancers’ penalty) box,” Updegrove said of the sequence leading up to his goal. “Blake Moreland hit it and I was just there to put it into the net.”
With his teammates calling out “Cheerio” – Updegrove’s colorful nickname (he earned the sobriquet as fa reshman after vomiting his breakfast cereal during practice) – the diminutive speedster once again found himself in the position to make a play.
After fellow junior midfielder John Nuthall worked his way through a couple of McQueen defenders, Updegrove took the cross and scored in the 29th minute for the 2-0 lead.
“He knows where he’s supposed to be and when,” Koop said of Updegrove. “What can you say. He has tremendous skill. His work-rate is tremendous. He gets himself in position. It’s not luck that he finds himself in the right spot.”
If there was a recurring theme that bedeviled the Lancers all game it was that, to a man, the Senators seemed to be everywhere all at once and were as easy to get through as a locked turnstile.
“We took away some of their opportunities,” Koop said. “We had a couple of through balls and if they went over the top, Brandon picked them up. If (the balls came in over the top) we had the seams covered.”
In theory, playing a possession game is great; in practice it’s a bit harder to pull off, but the Senators did it to effect, frustrating the Lancers. Starting McQueen goalkeeper Sean Delaplain was yellow-carded in the 13th minute for unsportsmanlike behavior when he shouted profanities at his teammates.
Baxter temporarily removed Delaplain, who had surrendered both goals, and inserted junior Daniel Lark, who made two saves during his time in the net. Delaplain returned with about 19 minutes remaining in the game.
While Delaplain was apparently feeling the heat, Carson keeper Briggs kept his uniform clean and had to make only one save and even that wasn’t of the diving, athletic kind.
“I hope he never does (get his uniform dirty making athletic diving saves),” Koop said with a laugh. “He takes control of what’s happening back there. He’s experienced and helps the younger players. He guides what we’re doing.”
“We’ve got a really solid defense,” Briggs said. “We’ve got a couple younger guys and a couple of older guys. They flow really well. We’ve got a couple of things to work on. We’ll have a really solid year – a great year ahead of us.”
That will especially be true beginning Monday, when the boys team joins the Lady Senators for a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for three days of soccer action. Through this arrangement, which is the result of a federal funding grant, a Mexican team will visit the Senators next year.
Carson, coming off an 18-2 season, will host Galena today at 7 p.m. in its final local nonleague match. The Senators will open their Sierra League season Sept. 15, when they host South Tahoe.
The Vikings defeated the defending Sierra League champion Senators, 3-0, in last year’s regional championship match.
CHS JVS 5, MCQUEEN 0
Luis Gonzalez scored twice, Ian Gunn scored off of an assist from Octavio Gomez, Gustavo Gonzalez scored and Tyler Bright scored off of an assist from Matt Nuthall for Carson. Aldo Del Roza, Nate Eng, Luis Aguilar and Gustavo Gonzalez all played well defensively and goalies Pedro Chavez and David Yanez combined to post the shutout.