No draw for CHS, thanks to Drew
Appeal Sports Writer
With South Tahoe, Douglas and Reno constantly in the boys soccer mix, the Carson Senators have always had plenty of competition in the Sierra League.
One thing was apparent during and after their 1-0 victory over Wooster Wednesday at Carson High School: The Colts look to be yet another league power on the rise.
On a 53-degree night with a chilly wind cutting across the pitch, the teams locked in a defensive battle. Although Carson was able to keep the ball on the Wooster side of the field for the majority of the game, some solid play from Wooster goalkeeper Jose Felipe as well as some stubborn performances from its defenders kept the Senators scoreless until the 68-minute mark, when senior Drew Good beat Felipe on a penalty kick for the game’s only score.
Wooster’s Edgar Molina tripped Good in the penalty box, setting up the PK.
“He had to put me down,” Good said of Molina. “I was taking him down to the corner all night. I had a lot of opportunities that I missed. I knew I had to put that (shot) away.”
That left Felipe, who registered four saves, as the only player standing in the way of a Carson lead.
“I knew I could beat (Felipe) to the left,” Good said. “My left foot is my favorite foot. I was looking to the right and went left with my left foot and say hi to my mom and dad.”
Fortunately for Carson, which outshot Wooster 17-6, Good was as tricky getting the ball into the net as he was in sending a greeting to his parents. He was also complimentary of the Colts.
“They’ve improved a lot,” Good said. “I’m looking forward to playing them (again). They compete. They don’t shut down like most teams (once they get behind).”
Wooster coach Mike Hammond, now in his third season, also sees the potential of his team.
“They are very solid – there’s nothing but a very bright future for them,” Hammond said of his players. “They’re mostly juniors. We have a few seniors. There’s nothing but good things ahead for us.”
Hammond did have one bone to pick, however.
“The difference in the game was one referee’s call,” he said. “The teams were very equal. One call changed the outcome of the game. He (the referee) was closer than I was, but I’m not sure that our player (Molina) tripped (Good) in the box. If it was outside of the box, I don’t think they would’ve been able to score. I think the game was very equal.”
Carson junior goalkeeper Brandon Briggs had three saves, including two in the first half. On the first one he alertly scooped up the ball as it materialized in front of him after finding its way through a maze of defenders in the 12th minute.
Briggs’ second save came after a Colt squeezed behind a Carson defender and fired away from the right side, causing Briggs to make an athletic dive to keep the ball out of the net.
“Our defenders did very well,” said Koop, in his fourth year as head coach for the Senators. “Brandon did well controlling things and had that clutch save in the first half. With the speed (the Colts) had, they matched our speed in the back.
“Brandon came out and controlled the area. (Senior Drew) Heller in the middle was very solid for us and (sophomore) Jorge (Guevera) did very well (defensively).”
Koop also said the Colts were effective with their offsides trap, something Koop brought up to his players at halftime but which still caught up with the Senators in the second half.
“We need to figure out how to put the ball in the back of the net a little more, but I’ll take it.” Koop said of the win. “I generally don’t let the person who was just fouled take the penalty kick, but in Puerto Vallarta, Drew did very well in PKs. He didn’t let us down – a low ball to the left (side of the net) put us up.
“Once we got that, I think we broke through the bubble – more shots started coming. If we finished our opportunities, I think it would have been a lot more comfortable for us.”
With the win Carson improved to 1-0-1 in Sierra League play (10-1-2 overall), while handing the Colts, now 2-1, 3-1-1, their first loss.
“(The Colts) had a good squad last year – I’m not sure how many (seniors) they lost – and they beat Douglas (this season) 3-2,” Koop said. “They’re a team you need to take seriously and rightly so.”
Next up for Carson is a trip to Reno to play Hug.
“They are an improved team as well,” Koop said of the Hawks. “We can’t take anyone lightly. We have to come out fired up.”
The Senators-Hawks game begins Saturday at 1 p.m.