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Carson girls prep for 4A playoffs

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

RENO – Carson puts its unbeaten record on the line tonight at 7 p.m. against Sierra League rival South Tahoe in the semifinals of the 4A regional girls soccer playoffs at Damonte Ranch High School.

The winner advances to Saturday’s 4A final against the winner of the Galena-Douglas game which is being played today at 5 p.m. All four semifinalists represent the Sierra League. Semifinal losers will play Saturday at noon for the third and final state playoff berth.

The teams played twice during the regular season, and Carson posted a 2-0 win on Oct. 3 and got a late goal from Brenda Luquin to grab a 1- 1 tie on Oct. 26.

“Top to bottom they have 11 solid starters,” said Clint Lockhart, South Tahoe head coach. “Brenda (Luquin) does a great job in the midfield and Kenzie (Tillitt) is a tough egg to crack in goal. It’s hard to crack through that defense.

“Defensively they will keep us on our toes. Taylor (Musselman) does a great job up top and Brenda (Luquin) controls the middle.”

Musselman has nine goals, while Samantha Fishburn and Brenda Luquin have scored six goals apiece.

Carson (13-0-4) has allowed just nine goals all year thanks to the great work of Emily Field, Allison Cowan, Natalie Stevens and Nicole Updegrove.

The Senators’ defense will be tested by Shelbi Spicer, who has 17 goals, and Cassandra Diaz, who has nine scores thus far.

“We’re looking to play our game,” Lockhart said. “We want to control the middle and get the ball out wide. Hopefully we can spread out their defense and get through balls to capitalize on.”

Through balls, according to Carson coach Randy Roser, may be the only way for South Tahoe to win. He doesn’t think the Vikings can play a possession game and win.

The backbone of South Tahoe’s defense is goalie Lexi Nunes-Fenley, who was first team all-league last year and is coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

“She’s athletic and tall,” Roser said. “We’re not going to beat her high. We have to beat her low.

“They will play a compact defense in the box (18-yard area). We’re starting to see everybody plays us like that because we can move the ball.”

Neither coach is surprised at the Sierra League’s dominance over the weekend

“The first round went like I thought,” Roser said. “I didn’t see the Douglas game, but from what I heard they dominated.”

“I’m a little surprised that all four made it through,” said Lockhart. “We went undefeated in the second half (of league) and every game was a battle.”