CHS girls soccer beats Douglas for league title
MINDEN — With the Sierra League championship hanging in the balance on Tuesday, opportunity presented itself to the Carson High girls soccer team early in the second half.
And Isabella Wakeling was right there to capitalize with a goal in the 44th minute that helped propel the Senators to a 2-0 victory against arch rival Douglas on a cool and overcast afternoon.
Nahim Gutierrez Flores added an insurance goal in the 76th minute as Carson (13-3 league, 13-3-1 overall) knocked off Douglas (11-3-2, 13-4-3) to clinch the league championship and the league’s No. 1 seed into the Northern Division I Region Tournament.
Coach Greg Lehman credited Team Carson with the winning effort.
“I feel we have a team full of starters and I just rotate them in,” Lehman said. “Everybody understands the system we want to run and I was just proud of the way the girls played today.”
Carson held a one-point lead over the four-time defending league champion Tigers in the standings coming into the regular season-ending contest. Douglas defeated Carson 2-1 in an earlier meeting on Oct. 10. The Tigers came into Tuesday riding a five-game win streak.
“Douglas is fast and physical and Werner does a great job with them,” Lehman said of the Tigers and coach Werner Christen. “We knew we were in for a good, tough game.”
Statistically speaking, the two rivals played evenly. Carson enjoyed a 9-8 edge in shots and both goalkeepers — Carson senior Samantha Bishop and Douglas freshman Jordan Smith gathered in three saves each.
“Give them all the credit,” Christen said of the Senators. “They played great. They deserved to win this thing and they deserved to win the league. We played on our heels a little bit in the second half and they took advantage of it. They were the more aggressive team.”
Carson broke up the scoreless duel when Molly Otto chipped a ball to the near post that was initially stopped. The ball glanced back up in the air and Wakeling capitalized with a shot into the net.
“We were down in the corner trying to get a service, the ball came back out to her on the outside and she just put it back in front of the goal,” Lehman said of Otto’s assist. “We had people in the box in scoring position and Bella was able to finish it.”
Gutierrez Flores blasted in a direct free kick from about 20 yards out to extend the lead to 2-0.
Lehman credited the play of middle defenders Valerie Sue Meyer and Andrea Maffei with helping contain an explosive Douglas attack. Maffei had to be helped off the field after sustaining an ankle injury late in the game — Lehman was uncertain of her status immediately after the game.
Bishop Manogue, by virtue of its 4-0 win over Wooster on Tuesday, secured the league’s No. 2 seed into the region tournament, which starts on Monday. Douglas will travel to either Reed or Spanish Springs for the first round, while Carson is tentatively set to host McQueen.
Oh, by the way, the Senators and Tigers could possibly end up playing again in the semifinals on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at North Valleys High School in Reno.
“We’ll just have to get on a bus now and see where they take us,” Christen said.
“We just have to do the old turn the page thing and see what happens.”