Douglas loves its field of dreams vs. Senators
Appeal Sports Writer
MINDEN – If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Douglas boys soccer team’s 1-0 victory over the Carson Senators Monday at Keith Roman Complex must look like Jessica Biel to Tigers coach Milko Vasquez and the Douglas faithful.
As for Carson coach Jason Koop, whose Senators were held to three shots on the 55-yard-wide football field, beauty didn’t enter into the equation.
With the victory, Douglas improved to 8-3 and moved into a first-place tie with Carson atop the Sierra League standings. Carson fell to 7-1-3 in league and 16-2-4 overall.
Douglas senior Dustin Goldade (pronounced goal-daddy) took a cross from Andrew Andraski and punched it past Carson goalkeeper Brandon Briggs in the 21st minute for the only score of the game.
With Jeff Crozier and Ross Gardner out with knee injuries, Goldade got the start and delivered a high-energy performance in a game Vasquez dedicated to his final-year players.
“We made this to be a senior game,” said Vasquez. “The seniors all started. This is probably the last time they play Carson. They played mature. (The Senators) weren’t able to create any kind of chances. We dominated the tempo. The bottom line is, no matter what kind of field it is, you still have to play.”
And the field, which meets the minimum guidelines for width at 55 yards, was pretty much at the forefront of Koop’s thoughts following the tightly contested game, which was generally clogged in the middle for the duration of the game and limited Carson’s passing game.
“It’s a kiddie field,” Koop said. “It’s a football field meant for football, not for soccer. It’s different to play on a football field. It’s too narrow to actually get things done. (The Tigers) had trouble building attacks, as did we. The purpose of this is what? That’s what I’d ask their administration.
“There’s nothing you can do but punch balls through and try to get on the end of it. All of the balls were over the top. There was no space to attack on the sides. You need to push the corner on the through ball and get a good cross. On another field, it’s a different game. Give them credit. They played well.”
Vasquez had a slightly different perspective on the matter.
“You have to adjust to whatever the field is – whether it’s a huge field like Damonte Ranch or a narrow field of dirt at Reed,” Vasquez said. “The field doesn’t make the game, the team makes the game. If you can’t adjust, oh well.
“It’s part of planning your stategy. They fully know about our field, we fully know about their field. It’s good for the crowd. It separates fans for both sides. All of our kids have played in worse conditions.”
Most of the game was contested in the center of the midfield and neither team got off any shots until Carson’s Brady Roser let loose in the 12th minute – but to no avail.
Douglas keeper Ivan Gonzalez registered only two saves – the other coming on Adam Updegrove’s bicycle kick in extra time.
“I’m not going to knock it – it wasn’t an advantage to either team,” Koop said. “It’s a disadvantage. We settled down in the second half, but the field was so small that it was very clogged. You couldn’t generate any movement on the ball.”
Douglas got off seven shots, four of which Briggs stopped, including one from Andraski in the 27th minute, when Briggs came out of the net for the save.
Briggs stopped an Edgar Arceo header off a corner kick in the 67th minute and smothered an up-close-and-personal blast from Antoine Vandanbl in the 74th minute.
“Overall what we did well was control them,” Vasquez said. “Our flat four in the back played really good. They couldn’t generate anything on the through ball. Andraski did a good job on Drew Good. Without (Good), their attack is null and void.
“You gotta do what you gotta do. Dealing with adversity is part of the job. We’ve had four or five guys out (injured). Normally it’s three or four; tonight was only two guys out. It’s nice we’re in first place on points. We hold our own destiny.”
Douglas has three matches left: Damonte Ranch, North Valleys and South Tahoe. The Tigers host the Mustangs and Vikings.
Carson also has three matches remaining – against Hug, Damonte Ranch and North Valleys.
“We’ve tied a couple of matches we should’ve won,” Koop said. “Whether we were supposed to win this one, we still have a playoff team contender. Our boys worked hard. Everyone busted it out there. It just didn’t go our way tonight.”
Carson’s next game will be against Hug at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Carson High School.