Carson’s speed too much for Reno
Carson’s speed too much for Reno
BY MIKE HOUSER
Appeal Sports Writer
For the Carson Senators girls soccer team, it was a matter of not feeling the pressure while it brought the pressure against the Reno Huskies Monday in a Sierra League matchup.
The Senators fell behind three times and trailed 2-1 at halftime, but outshot the Huskies 21-10 on the way to notching a 5-3 victory at Carson High School.
With the victory Carson improved to 3-1 in league and 11-2 overall, while dropping Reno to 1-3-1, 1-5-1.
The Huskies were able to beat Carson around the wing early to get on top in the first half, but were forced to make an unappetizing choice in the second half as the Senators kept up their relentless attack.
“They had a choice: play our passing or play our speed,” said Carson coach Randy Roser. “They chose to play our pass, so we went to speed.”
And with fleetfooted forwards Kayla Sanchez and Brandi Vega consistently outrunning and outmaneuvering the Reno defenders, the tactic didn’t work out for the Huskies.
Sanchez scored two goals and Vega added a goal and an assist before senior midfielder Amanda Osborne took the cross from Becca Kane and buried the go-ahead goal in the 69th minute.
“Becca and I started connecting on the pass,” Osborne said. “She laid it back to me and I got another left-footer for the goal.”
It was Osborne’s fourth goal of the season.
Sophomore Emily Field rounded out the scoring in extra time with a bender from the left side.
Reno didn’t get as many opportunities in the first half as Carson did – it was outshot 10-7 – but it made the most of what it got.
Huskies goalkeeper Mari Monticelli turned back the Senators early and Kaitlyn Cole took a cross from Raimy Novacek, beat a Carson defender and slipped it past sophomore keeper Jennifer Johnson for the 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.
Novacek, a 5-foot-9 midfielder who is also a standout basketball player for Reno, lofted up a floater from about 20 yards out and gave some body English as the wind caught the ball and helped whisk it past a diving Johnson for the 2-1 lead in the 37th minute.
The goal came 10 minutes after Vega’s third goal of the season – on an assist from sophomore Taylor Mussleman – tied it 1-1.
Vega at times seemed possessed as she dribbled past several defenders and worked her way closer and closer for a shot. On one possession she took the ball about 65 yards to the goal, where Monticelli – who had 10 saves – anticipated an extra touch from Vega and jumped out and smothered the ball before Vega could get off a shot.
“Their keeper was really good,” said Vega, who played part of the first half as a midfielder before switching to forward. “At halftime we talked about finishing shots. After we lost Bell (senior Michelle Fleming, who came out in the second half with a calf injury), we played collective defense and talked more. It was a little struggle for us.”
Sanchez took a pass from Vega and scored from within the 6-yard line to tie the game at 2-2 in the 44th minute.
Reno came right back, however, and Megan Tabano’s blast slipped through Johnson’s hands to give the Huskies their last lead – and goal – in the 45th minute.
Johnson recorded seven saves.
Reno’s 3-2 lead lasted about 10 minutes, when Sanchez double-clutched a shot past Monticelli to tie it for the last time.
“In the first half we had some lucky caroms,” said Reno assistant coach Tom Boyer, who was in charge Monday. “We played the ball out and wide and were able to penetrate. Our girls kept composed until the last 2 minutes. The speed of Carson is difficult to manage.”
Roser said it took a while for his team to adjust against the Huskies.
“We didn’t get out defense dialed in this afternoon,” Roser said. “Their forwards and midfielders ran through and we gave up goals. We man-marked them in the second half. Usually they had four in back, but when (Boyer) went to three in back, we went to three in front to keep the pressure on them.
“They’ve got two big, strong midfielders (Novacek and Tabano) – we couldn’t get anything in the air with them. They took away our passing. Because of that, they left us with one option: speed.”
Vega said nailing down the victory was tough, but it ultimately proved to be a momentum builder.
“Reno’s always tough competition,” Vega said. “Getting one of these games definitely builds our confidence. We wanted to come out of it with a win and get ready for (Damonte Ranch). We’re a talented team. We can do both – we can go speed or go passing. We can go five, six, seven passes and then get it through to our forwards.”
And it’s always good to have options.
Carson will try to continue to build more confidence and momentum today in another Sierra League matchup. It will host Damonte Ranch, beginning at 7 p.m. at Carson High School.