Carson boys soccer beats Spanish Springs
The defending state champion Carson Senators had two reasons to celebrate Wednesday night.
The first was the 2-1 win over Spanish Springs in their home opener, and the second was the return of last year’s leading goal scorer Rogelio Herrera, who assisted on Guillermo Hernandez’s game-winning score in the 77th minute.
Carson improved to 2-0 in 4A boys soccer play and 3-0 overall. Carson returns to action Saturday at 10:45 a.m. at Reed.
“I thought we looked good (most of the game),” coach Frank Martinez said. “We had good possessions and looked sharp. We out shot them. The first five minutes we got off to a slow start. We haven’t practiced much on the turf, and we had a few bad passes. After that we got our confidence back.”
The game was scoreless until Alejandro Gonzalez blasted one home with 13-minutes 42-seconds remaining in the opening half. The score came on the heels of his hard shot that was stopped by Hugo Rodriguez.
Spanish Springs had a chance to tie the game two minutes later, but Efren Ramirez made a sliding save against Court Diesner.
Carson dominated action in the opening half, but the Cougars played much tougher in the final 40 minutes.
In a span of two minutes early in the second half, Hernandez ripped off two long shots, the first off a direct free kick and the other off a nice move. Both shots came inches from going in. The second attempt was batted against the crossbar by Rodriguez.
Two minutes later, Ramirez made a kick save and the ball went out of bounds. Austin Fullmer, in the 29th minute, appeared to be on the verge of tying the game at 1, but Ramirez dove and deflected the ball away.
That was a precursor of things to come. The Cougars had the momentum, and they tied it at 1 about 90 seconds later when Jose Estrada followed in a deflected shot that bounced off Ramirez.
In the next three minutes, Hernandez had a chance to score off a corner kick, but his blast went high over the crossbar. Gonzalez also had a shot blocked.
The teams appeared headed toward a tie when Herrera, who was thought to be lost for the season with a knee injury, blasted a shot Rodriguez was unable to corral. The ball bounced out in front of the goal, and Hernandez pounded it home.
“I knew the goalie was going to stop the ball, so I went in for the (possible) rebound,” Hernandez said. “Spanish Springs wanted it a little more than we did the second half.”
The addition of Herrera, even if he can’t play a full match is huge, according to Martinez.
“He (Herrera) practiced last week,” Martinez said. “With Roger on the field, he gives everybody more opportunities. Even if we have him a few minutes here and there, we’re a better team. He created that opportunity for Gia.”
“Roger helps us a lot even if he’s not 100 percent,” Hernandez said. “He creates more plays when he’s out there.”