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Carson girls reach soccer finals

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

RENO – For the first time in six years, Carson High’s girls soccer team has reached the NIAA 4A regional championship game.

Carson got a first-half goal from Kenzie Tillitt to beat Damonte Ranch 1-0 Wednesday night on the Mustangs’ home field.

The win sends Carson, 15-3-0 overall, into Saturday’s final against arch-rival Douglas Saturday at noon.

“It’s huge for the girls,” Carson coach Randy Roser said. “We’re a young team with only four seniors. These girls have worked really hard.

“I think we did (dominate the game). We had some good looks. Shots that went in against Reno (8-2 Carson win) were either a little high or a little wide tonight. Arran (Rumbaugh) had one off the side of her foot and Kenzie had a couple of good looks.”

Tillitt’s first-half goal in the 19th minute was a header off a corner kick.

“The ball was medium height,” Tillitt said. “The defender was behind me. I had her by a length. I knew if I could get momentum it was going in.”

Carson out-shot Damonte 8-1 in the first half and 20-5 for the game. Carson’s best looks other than its only goal were in the second half.

In the 42nd minute, Rumbaugh was stopped and then in the 44th minute Tillitt drilled one over the crossbar. Kaitlyn Holmes had a header miss the mark in the 56th minute. Josilyn Daggs also sent one over the crossbar in the second half.

The Mustangs’ defense did a nice job against Daggs, who scored four times against Reno.

“They were very tight in the back,” Tillitt said. “We weren’t able to get Josilyn any through balls like we usually do.”

“They played a 4-3-3, and it’s tough for our girls to adjust to,” Roser said. “Their back four was tight, so it was going to be hard to score goals tonight. We tried to get Michelle Sandage to hit a couple out of the back.”

Damonte Ranch had a couple of good looks – one by Erica Ritter and one by Bailey Torrez – in the final eight minutes. Keeper Emmy Heller saved both shots. She finished with four saves.

Now, it’s a third game with Douglas, a 5-1 winner over Bishop Manogue. It’s pretty much what Carson expected to happen.

“They (Douglas) always come out hard; firing hard the first five minutes,” Tillitt said. “We need to get past that so that we can settle in and play our game.”

“They do come out fired up,” Roser said. “If we can keep them out (from scoring early), we can take control of the game.”