No. 1 seed Carson falls 1-0 to Galena
RENO – It’s a case of deja vu for the Carson High girls soccer team.
A year ago, the Senators cruised through the regular season with a 13-0-3 record en route to the Sierra League championship and won their opening-round playoff game, but lost in the semifinals to South Tahoe.
The Senators find themselves in the same situation again. They went 12-0-4 in the regular season and won their playoff opener against McQueen, but they dropped a 1-0 decision to Galena in the NIAA 4A semifinals Thursday night at Damonte Ranch.
Carson still has a chance to make state, but it must beat Damonte Ranch Saturday at 2 p.m. at Damonte Ranch. Carson was in the same situation last year and lost to Galena in the third-place game.
“I think we can (bounce back),” said stopper Natalie Stevens. “You can tell we wanted it. We worked hard to get ready (for the playoffs).”
And, the Senators didn’t play a bad game. Carson didn’t start the game well, almost surrendering a goal in the first minute, but the Senators dominated for much of the second half.
“I liked the second half,” Carson coach Randy Roser said. “We pressured their defense quite a bit and got some opportunities. In the first half, our defense was dropping back too much and letting them come at us.”
In a span of 10 minutes in the second half, Carson’s 1-2 scoring punch of Kenzie Tillit and Josie Daggs had some great looks. In the 13th minute, Makenzie Kline robbed Tillit of a goal with a diving stop. Two minutes later, Kline stopped a Daggs shot. Daggs got off three more shots, but came up empty each time.
The lone goal of the game came with 7:35 left. Galena had moved the ball into Carson’s send of the field, but the Senators were unable to clear it. The ball ended up in the possession of Sara Lancaster, and the Grizzlies’ senior didn’t waste the opportunity, firing one past Carson keeper Emmy Heller.
“We had been marking Lancaster tight,” Roser said. “She just got away from us, turned and had a shot on goal. That’s how zone (regionals) goes. They got a good opportunity and finished.”
“The ball got to a senior whom you want to have the ball in that situation,” Galena coach Ron Jones said. “She made a good shot and beat a good keeper (Heller).”
Jones thought it should have been a 2-0 game. The Grizzlies almost scored in the first 30 seconds of the match, but Brooke Cherry missed to the right from point-blank range.
“She should have scored,” Jones said. “She’s a freshman and this is one of the most important games she’s played. So full of adrenaline. She let the ball cross her body and had her hips square to the goal, but she just touched it wide.”
Unofficially, both teams got off nine shots. Kline had six saves and Heller four.
Roser was asked if he thought this was a big upset, and he said it wasn’t.
“Galena is a good team,” Roser said. “The top four teams in our league (Douglas, Damonte, Carson and Galena) are tough. Every time we play Galena, Douglas or Damonte Ranch it’s a tough game.
“The first half our defense was dropping too much and letting them run at us.”
Jones said it was just another typical Galena-Carson game.
“I think I share Randy’s sentiment,” Jones said. “We always have a good battle with them. Carson has a bunch of class kids, and that makes it fun.”
Especially if you win.