Tiger girls tame Senators
Douglas girls’ soccer coach Fred Schmidt stressed to his team all year the importance of being able to finish on good scoring chances.
It was the Lady Tigers’ ability to do just that, that led to three goals in the period of seven minutes as Douglas beat Carson 3-1 at Carson High Tuesday night.
Carson’s Danielle Benamati broke out all alone in the Douglas box and scored on a beautiful shot in the 60th minute to break a scoreless tie and put Carson up.
It was the last time the Senators would have the ball deep in Douglas territory for nearly 10 minutes.
“Carson had an excellent goal there with that play they made,” Schmidt said. “Once our girls got scored on, that’s when they really got fired up.”
It didn’t take long for Douglas to strike back.
Less than a minute after Benamati’s goal, Douglas’ Krysten Bartshe dumped the ball into the Carson box where Allison Chapman crossed a nice pass to set up Christina Bradshaw 1-on-1 with Senator goalie Kaitlyn Hasty. Bradshaw dribbled in, beat Hasty with a nice move to the left and tapped the ball in to tie it up.
Two minutes later, Bartshe dumped the ball in again, setting up a Douglas corner kick. Bianca Gillespie played the ball in, and Hasty made a tremendous fingertip save off of a head shot. The rebound bounced off a couple of players in front of the net before Bartshe found an open Savannah Gray for the goal.
Chapman played in another corner kick in the 68th minute, which slipped through Hasty’s hands and fell directly at Bartshe’s feet. Bartshe scored easily on the play.
“We’ve been working with her and she earned herself a starting position,” Carson coach Randy Roser said of the sophomore Hasty, who was making her first start in net on the season. “There was the one goal that she allowed, but those other two, Douglas just made great plays.
“We’re happy with her and we’re probably going to play her in regionals.”
Hasty faced a tremendous onslaught of shots from the Tiger offense in the second half and played well under pressure, making a number of big saves. She finished the night with 14 saves.
“We made some adjustments at halftime and we came out great at the start of the second half,” Schmidt said. “We could have had a goal in those first ten minutes the way the girls were putting pressure on. It was frustrating because it is hard to carry that kind of momentum for very long.”
Douglas relied heavily on its midfielders to control the pace of the game in the second half.
Both Bartshe and Jessica Maule were instrumental in controlling the middle of the field through the Tigers’ ten-minute run in the second half.
“The midfield controlled the play for us in the second half,” Schmidt said. “It made all the difference in the world.
“I am sure we will probably get to meet Carson again in the playoffs. They are a great team.”
Douglas defenders Rachael Tappan, Samantha Perry, Alison Pyne, Alicia Sturgess, Megan Olsen and Lorelei Gettman did a good job of keeping the speedy Carson forwards in check, but goalie Hillary Winans was an absolute wall, making 18 saves.
“Hillary did a great job,” Schmidt said. “She’s only allowed 10 goals in 16 games this season, so tonight was just an example of how she has played for us all season.”
Carson received excellent play from Ann Sinnott and Ashley Briscoe on the wings and from Morgan Beam, Sarah Stalling and Courtney Hayes on the offensive end.
Douglas heads into the playoffs Saturday as the No. 1 seed out of the Sierra League, while Carson heads in third.
“We’re finally healthy and everyone will be back to play,” Roser said. “We’re comfortable heading into this weekend. Our defense slacked off a bit through those last 20, 30 minutes tonight, so we need to work on that and we’ll be ready to go.”