Elko defeats Carson in soccer semifinals | NevadaAppeal.com

Elko defeats Carson in soccer semifinals

Dave Price
Appeal Sports Writer

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Carson's Royal Good makes a shot on goal in the first half of Thursday's game against Elko.

This time, there were no late fireworks show to light up the sky when the Carson and Elko high school boys soccer teams collided in the Northern 4A Regional Tournament.

Instead, Nathan Bain lit up the scoreboard with a late goal that lifted the Elko Indians to a 1-0 victory against the Senators in a hard-fought regional semifinal battle on Thursday night at Carson High School.

Bain’s goal in the 78th minute, assisted by Chris Hooiman, was the difference as High Desert League champion Elko (18-4-1) outlasted defending Northern 4A champion Carson (12-3-3) on a cold and blustery night.

“I thought we played very well … well enough to win,” Carson coach Jason Koop said. “I thought, for the most part that we controlled the tempo of the game, we just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net. They got their one opportunity and they stuck it in.”

It marked a turnaround from last year when these rivals met on the same field in the first round of the regional tournament on Nevada Day. That night, the fireworks show began late in the second half – launched from an adjoining field – and Enrique Mendoza scored in the 73rd minute to give the Senators a 2-1 win that ended Elko’s season.

Elko coach Jim Nisbet remembered the scene all too well.

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“First round, under the fireworks of the Nevada Day celebration,” he said. “It was so loud … I tried to communicate with the kids out on the field, but they couldn’t hear a thing I was saying.”

This was another game to remember.

“I’m telling you what, that was one heckuva game,” Nisbet said. “You have to give Carson credit because they came out and took it to us. We feel fortunate to get out of here with a win, but when you get to this level (of the playoffs), anything can happen.”

Even though they had a 16-5 advantage on the shot chart, the Senators were unable to break into the score column.

“We had a lot of opportunities, we just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net,” Koop said. “It wasn’t just one person, either. We had a lot of opportunities spread around and we just weren’t able to get it in.”

The Senators, with a strong wide at their back, outshot Elko 6-1 and had five corner kicks in the first half. There were other opportunities that didn’t show up on the shot chart, too.

One of those came in the seventh minute when Edgar Gomez took a pass inside the box from Mendoza and put the ball in the net – only to have the score waved off on an offsides call. Another came in the 21st minute when Mendoza got the ball past goalkeeper Channing Christiansen, only to have his shot attempt broken up by Elko defender Nick Heguy. Two minutes after that, Mendoza juked his way past Christiansen and had an open net in front of him, but the ball got away and trickled harmlessly past the post.

Elko’s defense came up big in the 30th minute when Royal Good’s header appeared to be headed into the net before being cleared out by Hooiman at the far post.

Carson had yet another golden opportunity when Christiansen, Elko’s third-year varsity goalkeeper, got his leg out to deflect a Gomez shot from directly in front of the net. Unofficially, Christiansen had five saves on the night. Carson’s Bud Kop had two saves, both in the second half.

It was that kind of night for the Senators.

For Elko, this was similiar to their 1-0 opening-round win against Reno on Saturday. The Indians were outshot in that game, too.

“Saturday, we scored early and then kind of held on,” Nisbet said. “Tonight, we were able to hang around and then get that one opportunity. And we needed every minute tonight.”

n Contact Dave Price at dprice@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1220