Carson girls soccer beats Douglas
Appeal Sports Writer
The parking lot leading to the Carson High School soccer field was chock-full of cars on Tuesday, stuffed tiger heads were impaled on the top of fences, Carson High School decorations were stripped off the fence, and the visitors’ bench was located on the opposite side of the field.
This could mean only one thing: Douglas was making a visit.
The Lady Senators were more than ready however, and parlayed a two-goal lead after the first half into a 5-2 victory and sole possession of second place in the Sierra League behind South Tahoe at the halfway point of the season.
The Senators, who lost 3-1 to the Vikings in their first meeting, improved to 6-1 in league and 14-2 overall. The Tigers fell to third place with a 5-2 league record (8-4 overall).
Carson had five goals from five different players and its defense held the Lady Tigers to zero first-half shots to gain and maintain the upper hand. Senators sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Johnson faced 10 second-half shots and made five saves.
“That’s a good thing – I don’t want a lot of action,” Johnson said with a laugh. “I didn’t get a lot (of action). Our defenders played really well and our midfielders cleared a lot up. We were physical.”
Senior Becca Kane was one of the midfielders making it tough for the Tigers to break through.
“I think our passing was pretty good,” Kane said. “(Junior midfielder) Amanda Osborne and I really work well together. We talk. We stepped up. We were physical. We usually get knocked off the ball. We wanted this really bad.”
“We were all psyched today,” Johnson said. “Most of us couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I think we really stepped up our game. We’re (peaking) right now. Second place is not an option for us – we’re winning (the Sierra League). We’re practicing on finishing.”
As if Carson wasn’t ready enough, coach Randy Roser added a little incentive after the Tigers took their own bench to the opposite side of the field.
“It irritated me,” Roser said. “They say it’s because of our (stands and fans are behind the visitors’ and home benches). Don’t think you can come to our school and tell us where you sit. I told the girls, ‘Every chance you get, put it into the net.’ That’s what fuels this rivalry.”
Roser had to be happy with the way the Senators responded as they got off seven first-half shots. Junior Lauren Schulz scored on an assist from Osborne to put Carson up 1-0 in the 30th minute.
After the ball deflected in to Osborne, Schulz put up a rainbow from about 30 yards out, which dropped over Tigers keeper Jamie Greer.
In the 34th minute, sophomore forward Emily Field dropped it over the top to a streaking Brenda Luquin, who buried it for a 2-0 lead.
In the 47th minute, Carson scored what turned out to be the winning goal when junior forward Brandi Vega passed it upfield to sophomore Taylor Mussleman, who carried it for about 15 yards before putting it in from inside 10 yards.
Senior forward Kayla Sanchez drew Greer out of the goal and passed to junior Helaine Berris, who buried it in from inside the 6-yard box to give the Senators a commanding 4-0 lead.
But Douglas refused to break and Dany Heidt beat Johnson on a penalty kick to the right side in the 53rd minute to put the Tigers on the board.
Nicole Didero scored on a free kick inside the 18-yard box to make it 4-2 in the 66th minute, but Vega put the match on ice in the 71st minute. Vega deked past one defender and gave the ball an extra touch in close before beating Greer to make it 5-2.
Greer had three saves.
Douglas coach Lorraine Fitzhugh said there was no malfeasance on the part of the Douglas parents who stripped away the Carson decorations. She said the parents simply couldn’t see and removed the ribbons from the fence.
“I think we were going through some growing pains from Homecoming on Saturday – no excuses,” said Fitzhugh, who indicated that her players got to set their own curfew that night. “We wanted to get a lot of people some playing time so we can start working toward the second half of the season.
“We’re working on our back four. We have to go back to the drawing board. Our kids took it (breaking curfew) straight forward -they took it head on. It was a tough day Saturday. I’m really proud of how we came out today. We had our chins up. We had a good second half. It was a great game on Carson’s part. I’m proud of both teams.”
Roser said he was happy with his defense.
“We had control the first half – we controlled the space and timing,” he said. “The second half was beyond our control. We lost our pace because of some fouls on Carson. The PK – I would debate that. The other goal came off a free kick.
“We didn’t give them any goals. Our defense – even when we subbed – didn’t drop. We took out (senior) Brandy Cantley for (sophomore) Julianne King and the intensity stayed there. Our sophomores are improving. We took out Lauren Schulz and put in (sophomore) Samantha Fishburn. We still locked down. The way we played tonight, this is the way we want to play.”
Up next for Carson is a trip North to play Reno on Saturday. The game is being moved back from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Carson won the first meeting, 5-3.
“I think we’re great,” Roser said of his team at the halfway mark. “After Reno, we start with South Tahoe on Tuesday. That will set the pace for first or second place coming into zone. If we can continue to peak, we’ll be all right at zone.”