Carson to host soccer rival Douglas tonight |

Carson to host soccer rival Douglas tonight

Dave Price

No matter what the sport, high school arch rivals Carson and Douglas always play to win when they face each other.

“It’s a rivalry, what more do you want?,” Douglas boys soccer coach Milko Vasquez said. “If you can’t get up for this game, then you aren’t alive.”

If that’s not enough, the girls and boys soccer programs from both schools will have extra incentive when they close out their regular seasons against each other tonight and Tuesday night at Carson.

Possession of third-place in the Sierra League boys standings, perhaps even a trip to the playoffs, will be at stake tonight when the Senators (6-4-1 league) host the Tigers (6-5) for a 7 p.m. contest. Carson is third in the league with 19 points, one ahead of Douglas and Reno (18 each), in a race for the last two of the league’s four qualifying berths to the Northern 4A Regional Tournament.

“Rivalries are fun when you get them scheduled at the end of the year. It gives you something to look forward to as far as bragging rights,” Carson coach Jason Koop said. “I’ve played against friends in rivalries; you may be friends before the game, but you aren’t once you get out on the field.

Reno faces a must-win situation this afternoon at 3:30 when it plays at second-place Wooster. Carson would clinch third-place with a win. If Reno wins, the Carson-Douglas loser will be eliminated from playoff contention. Should Reno win, Carson would advance to the playoffs with a win and Douglas would be out. A tie between Carson and Douglas, coupled with a Reno win, would put Carson in the playoffs and leave Douglas on the outside.

And that still doesn’t cover all of the possible scenarios. Sound confusing? It is, but no matter what the outcome, the Douglas-Carson game promises to be a good one.

“It’s going to be good soccer,” Vasquez said. “They’re playing with a lot of confidence right now and we’re playing with a lot of confidence, so you’re going to have two confident teams in a playoff environment.”

The Senators are shooting for a couple of goals.

“It’s a big deal to all of us. It’s a big rivalry,” Carson junior forward Royal Good said. “We want to show we’re the better team and we want to get to the playoffs.”

Furthermore, the Senators and Tigers are battling for possession of the Nevada Appeal Cup, a perpetual trophy given annually to the school that comes out ahead when the boys and girls varsity/JV scores are added up. Carson holds an 8-6 edge after the four games that were played Sept. 28-29 in Minden. Douglas won the trophy last year.

“It should be a great game. Historically, regardless of records, this is always a hard-fought game. And obviously, having the playoff implications should make it all the better because this is a must win situation for both of us,” Koop said.

Carson’s boys defeated Douglas 3-2 on an Edgar Gomez goal inside the final two minutes on Sept. 29 in Minden. Three other goals, two by Douglas and one by Carson, were called back in that game.

Both teams are coming off vital wins on Saturday – Carson was a 2-0 victor at home against Reno and Douglas posted a 5-3 win at Wooster. Douglas has won three in a row to keep its playoff hopes alive.

“A couple of weeks ago, a lot of heads were down, but now we’re playing with spirit and momentum,” Vasquez said. “We don’t give up and we play hard all 80 minutes. One thing we seemed to learn from those tough losses earlier in the season was that we need to be focused for the entire 80 minutes.”

The Senators had their share of tough games, including a pair of 1-0 losses to league champion South Tahoe (the second game was decided by a goal in the 78th minute), a 1-1 tie against Wooster last week and a 2-1 loss to Reno last month.

“I think we’ve learned a lot from our mistakes in the games we lost,” said Good, whose goal in the second minute put the Senators ahead to stay in their win over Reno on Saturday. “We’ve had a lot of games where we’ve outshot the other team, but we haven’t been able to finish. The last couple of games, we’ve seen that if we put pressure on the other team and finish, we can win. Hopefully, we can put together another good game and see what happens.”

There will be no lack for incentive Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when the Carson and Douglas girls collide. Douglas (9-2-0 league, 12-2-1 overall) has clinched the league championship, but Carson (7-2-2, 9-2-4) needs a victory to overtake South Tahoe (8-3-1) for second-place in the league.

“I think it’s going to be exciting, win or lose,” Carson coach Randy Roser said. “It should be one of those barn burner games that comes down to the very end.”

Even though Douglas has already clinched first-place in the league, coach Fred Schmidt said the Tigers won’t look past this game.

“Any time we play each other, given the rivalry, I always assume Carson is going to be one of the toughest games of the year,” Schmidt said. “And the game is going to be played in a playoff-like atmosphere, so it should be a good playoff tune-up for both teams.”

Roser agreed.

“I would not be surprised to see us play Douglas again in the (regional) final,” the Carson coach said. “We’re both pretty evenly matched.”

The Douglas and Carson girls rank at the top of their league statistically – Douglas has scored 72 goals and given up 11, while Carson has scored 75 and given up 15.

“Our defense is back and healthy, which helps,” Roser said, noting that Katy Davis returned from the injury list on Saturday and contributed an assist while playing for the first time since early September.

The Senators still had to settle for a 3-3 tie Saturday when Reno scored a last-minute goal. The tie eliminated Carson from contention for the league championship.

“That was very disappointing, especially for the senior girls who wanted to win,” Roser said. “Now, I think they will be focused on winning everything from here on out.”

Contact Dave Price at or call 881-1220.

Sierra League

South Tahoe 12-0-0 36

Wooster 7-3-1 22

Carson 6-4-1 19

Douglas 6-5-0 18

Reno 6-5-0 18


Hug at North Valleys, 3 p.m.

Reno at Wooster, 3 p.m.

Douglas at Carson, 7 p.m.

Sierra League

Douglas 9-2-0 27

So. Tahoe 8-3-1 25

Carson 7-2-2 23

Reno 5-4-2 17


Hug at North Valleys, 3 p.m.

Reno at Wooster, 3 p.m.

Douglas at Carson, 7 p.m.

Four players have scored in double figures for Douglas: Christina Bradshaw, a four-year varsity veteran, has 18; Morgan Lefever has 16 goals and a team-high 13 assists; Allison Chapman has 13 goals and Krysten Bartsche has 10.

“The reason we’re playing so well right now is that our scoring has been so spread out,” Schmidt said. “The kids don’t mind who scores; they just care about winning.”