Senators take control of league race
Even though there are still three games left in the regular season, Carson High coach Nate Brigham didn’t mind talking about the possibility of a third straight Sierra League title after his team beat Galena 2-0 on Wednesday at the CHS football field.
“By no means are we looking past the teams that we play,” Brigham said. “But if the boys do what we did tonight… Back-to-back-to-back.”
Carson took control of the Sierra League race in its effort to win a third straight league title in the showdown for first against the Grizzlies. The Senators came in with 25 points while Galena was in second with 24. Carson now has 28 points to Galena’s 24.
But Brigham is also keeping his eye on the ultimate goal of advancing to the NIAA 4A State Tournament and since the state event is being held down South, only the Northern 4A champion will advance to state.
“The league championship is nice, but the last two years we were league champions and didn’t advance to state,” Brigham said.
John Nuthall scored both goals for Carson in a game that had special meaning for him. Not only did he score both goals in his final regular season home game of his career on senior night, but he also helped Carson gain revenge for a game that he missed.
Galena won the first meeting 2-0 and because of a red card, Nuthall served a one-game suspension and missed that game. Goalie Brandon Briggs also missed that game as he was also serving a one-game suspension due to a red card. “I came in intense because of my red card,” Nuthall said. “I had something to prove.”
Carson also had something to prove after it was unable to deal with Galena’s physical style in the first meeting.
“I was very proud of the boys,” Brigham said. “At Galena, Galena manhandled us. I think that’s what made the difference was our physical play.”
Carson took a 1-0 lead in the first half on a high-arching shot by Nuthall from about 30 yards. Galena goalie Maxwell Giesler had to come out and stop Carson’s attack. But Nuthall took the rebound off Giesler’s attempt to clear the ball and sent his long-range parabola that bounced just under the crossbar and into the net.
“Luck,” said Nuthall on how the ball went in. “I don’t know how it went in. It definitely helped our momentum.”
There was nothing lucky about Nuthall’s second goal. Adam Updegrove centered a pass from the right side and Nuthall was there to score on a header.
“Adam he worked his tail off,” Nuthall said. “That goal was as much for him as well. It was a beautiful ball.”
Briggs combined with Ryan Lee, who finished up, at goal to post the shutout as Carson finished the season without giving up a goal at home. Defenders Brian Duran, Luis Aguilar, Nate Eng, Jorge Guevara and Nik Marsh helped post the shutout.
“This is great,” Nuthall said. “It’s just great to finish but first place, this is what it’s about, first place.”
MANOGUE 2, DOUGLAS 1
While the Douglas boys’ soccer team’s playoff hopes took a hit Wednesday afternoon, the team is keeping in good spirits.
Douglas fell to second-ranked Manogue 2-1 in Minden after nearly tying the game in the closing minutes.
“These kids are always up for a game,” Douglas coach Milko Vasquez said. “They were out there working hard and they had a chance to tie it up late. We’ve lost something like six games by one goal now.
“We just didn’t have the bench to keep up with Manogue today. They stuck in there though and almost made something happen. They are gamers.”
Manogue scored in the 28th minute on a rocket shot from about 30 yards out.
“There’s nothing you can do about that one,” Vasquez said. “Their kid got a really good crack at it and sent it in.”
Manogue’s second goal came in the 71st minute on a drop pass for the 2-0 lead.
Douglas got on the board in the 74th minute when midfielder Christian Salazar sent a perfectly-place through ball to Ross Gardner, who carried nearly 20 yards before firing it past the Miner keeper.
The Tigers nearly tied the game four minutes later when forward Edgar Arceo dropped a pass in front for Gardner and Gardner’s shot was tipped just over the cross bar.
Defensively, Douglas got a standout effort from Brian Randall, who at one point broke up a dangerous cross with a bicycle kick, and Edgar Gonzalez. Jeff Crozier and Fabian Ramos were also in the game on defense throughout and keeper Ivan Gonzalez had four saves including a nice kick save in the first half and a diving stop at point-blank range in the second.
Gardner created a number of strong scoring opportunities throughout and Corbin Zumpft, Andrew Andraski and Luke Prinz worked hard in the middle.
Douglas dropped to 4-6-1 in league play and is facing must-win situations in its final three games against South Tahoe (Saturday), Carson and Fallon.
“We just need to win,” Vasquez said. “We are still mathematically in it, but Wooster needs to lose once or twice for us to have a shot. Crazier things have happened.”
CARSON JVS 1, GALENA 1
Down 1-0, Luis Camacho was on a breakaway and was tripped from behind in the goal box. He scored on the penalty kick to give Carson (11-0-2, 9-0-2) the tie.
Guillermo Alonso, Carlos Munoz, Javier Barrios, Sammy Ayala and Pedro Chavez all played well defensively and Sam Hutcheson, Victor Romero, Luis Gonzalez and Zack Bruce played well at midfield.