Galena girls edge Carson in overtime
Soccer, just like any other sport, is often a game of inches. Sometimes less than that.
Just ask the Carson High girls soccer team after seeing its first shot in overtime glance off and away from the goalpost on Saturday afternoon. Or ask the resilient Galena Grizzlies, who rebounded from a close call just a couple of minutes before and came back to defeat the Senators 2-1 on Elizabeth Walker’s goal in the fifth minute of overtime in the opening round of the Northern 4A Regional Tournament at Carson High.
Galena rallied from an 1-0 deficit to get past Carson and advance to the tournament semifinals. The Grizzlies play Douglas Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Carson High.
“What a great game,” Galena coach Ron Jones said. “Carson is not only a great soccer team, but totally a class act out there. We’re two evenly matched teams playing in a game that could have gone either way, and fortunately for us, it went our way.”
The Senators had an opportunity to win in the second minute of overtime after Sarah Johnston fed the ball into the box to Danielle Benamati, whose shot glanced off the far post and was cleared out for Galena by Abbie Walker.
“Danielle took it there, unfortunately we didn’t have anybody there at the far post,” Carson coach Randy Roser said.
“It came right down to the wire, and that’s typical of how these games are,” he added.
This was a comeback of sorts for the Grizzlies, who finished second in the High Desert League after dropping a 2-1 showdown against McQueen on Tuesday.
“It would have been easy to go in the tank after losing a game like that, but the kids came here today and were focused the entire game,” Jones said. “They’ve shown a lot of character over the course of the year because they’ve come from behind to win a couple of games.”
The Senators took an early 1-0 lead when Morgan Beam scored in the eighth minute. Sophia Rafael took a pass on the defensive end and ran the ball down the left sideline before she turned and crossed the ball over the middle to Courtney Hayes in the box. Hayes touched the ball once, then dished off a short pass to Beam, who tapped the ball past the near post to put Carson on top.
Galena seemed to come to life after that. Kelly Peyton lofted a shot just over the crossbar in the 16th minute and Chelsea Patrick shot wide on a breakaway four minutes later.
Then, in the 34th minute, Abbie Walker put a through ball into the box toward Jessica Dougherty, who got to the ball at the same time Carson goalkeeper Kaitlyn Hasty. The two collided, but Dougherty was able to direct the ball toward the net, and it trickled across the goal line to make it 1-1.
Both teams took six shots in the second half, but the closest either team came to scoring came when Abby Walker’s free kick struck the goalpost in the 49th minute.
“They played very well,” Roser said of the Grizzlies. “They were aggressive and they pressured the ball the whole game. Any time we got the ball got close, they were on us.”
Galena won it after Jullian Atkinson gathered in the ball on the right side, about 35 away from the goal. She took the ball in and passed inside to Elizabeth Walker, who has scored 22 goals this season.
“I saw Jullian had the ball and I just stayed right there and called out as loud as I could,” Walker said. “I wasn’t sure if she was going to hear me, but I guess she did.”
Among the bright spots for Carson was sophomore Anna McQuarie, who was moved up from the junior varsity and saw action on the defensive end.
“Anna did a good job,” Roser said. “She got close to 30 minutes in a playoff match, so that’s valuable experience that should help out somewhere down the road.”
Notes … Elizabeth Walker scored a first-half goal against McQueen on Tuesday, but then was knocked out of the game after being involved in a collision with a McQueen player. Her sister, Abbie, was also knocked out of the game, but both were ready to play on Saturday. … Their older sister, Veronica, is currently a sophomore playing for Weber State. … Carson finished its season with a 9-4-4 record (7-3-2 Sierra League). Galena was 11-1-2 in league play.
Contact Dave Price at email@example.com or call 881-1220.