Carson soccer plays South Tahoe for title
There should be no secrets today when the Carson High boys soccer team plays South Tahoe for the Northern 4A title.
Both teams will square off at noon at Damonte Ranch for the right to play in next weekend’s NIAA 4A State Championships at Cimarron Memorial in Las Vegas. Only one team from the North will advance to the four-team state playoff.
This will be the third meeting between the two teams. Carson and the Vikings split the first two meetings.
“I respect Chris very much in what he’s done with the team,” said Carson coach Jason Koop about South Tahoe coach Chris DeLeon. “They’ve got a great team. They’re solid all the way around.”
Koop said the game will come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes and is able capitalize on the other team’s errors.
Koop said his main concern is “we come out prepared, readly to play. We know what they’re coming with.”
The speed of Damonte Ranch’s field turf will obviously be a factor. Koop said accurate passing will be a key as the ball rolls away on the field turf much faster.
“Which team can make the adjustment the quickest will have the better of it,” Koop said.
But otherwise, the field turf shouldn’t be that much of an advantage to either team since both clubs are fast.
“It definitely serves an advantage to speed,” Koop said. “I think they’ve got the speed comprable to ours. I don’t think it will be an advantage to either team.”
Among the Vikings’ top offensive threats is Paulo Caetano. South Tahoe’s defense is anchored by sweeper Ian Rice.
“He’s big, physical, tough to get around,” said Koop about Rice. “I think we can get past him.”
The Vikings were also missing top midfielder Anthony DeMarta in the team’s last meeting, a 2-1 Senator win at South Tahoe. DeMarta was serving a one-game suspension for receiving a red card in the previous game and it figures he’ll definitely make his presence felt today.
For Carson, it could be tempting to always place a man on Zach Weismann, who has become a lethal weapon with his long-range shooting. But the dilemma for opponents is if they key too much on Weismann, the Senators have plenty of other weapons, including Enrique Mendoza, Drew Good and Christian Volker.
“I don’t think Chris is going to change his game plan,” said Koop about DeLeon in how he defends Weismann.
“Is he a problem to other teams? Yeah. If he gets five or six decent looks in a game, I’ll take that.”
Carson’s defense has been solid with Mats Boehnke, John Updegrove, Drew Heller, Andrew Hill, Matt Tillitt and goalie Brandon Briggs.
“Up there it was pretty even,” said Koop about the last meeting. “The teams match up pretty well.”