MINDEN - It appears as if the influential showdown in girls soccer between Carson and Douglas will be pushed back to Oct. 23, the final regular season game for both teams.
No, the Senators and Tigers still played on Tuesday at Douglas High. But the result was a 2-2 draw, a result that didn't improve-or diminish either of the team's chances at the Sierra League championship, as many expected the game would.
"A loss would've been detrimental to either team and I hope it all comes down to that last game," said Douglas coach Fred Schmidt.
So now the attention turns to the rest of the season. Neither team can afford to slip up along the way, against the likes of South Tahoe and Reno, probably the only the two teams capable of beating the two league powers. If form holds true, which it rarely does, next month's game between the two teams should determine the league championship.
For Carson coach Mike Popp, that would be just fine. Against the Tigers, the Senators were without three starters for the third straight game. Sarah Field, Erika Landis, and Krissy Hale all had to sit out with injuries. Sweeper Allison Kop, which had missed the previous two games because of an ankle injury, did play, but clearly wasn't at 100 percent.
"Allison was probably at 50 percent," Popp said. "She just felt like she had to play to lead the defense. With all of our injuries right now, we're happy with a tie. That's what we were shooting for. If we had won, that would've been icing on the cake. I'm just trying to get us healthy for the the next time we play them."
Douglas, meanwhile, was shooting for the a victory to the very end, but just couldn't find the net. In the 71st minute, Britney Christen had a shot hit the post and striker Amber Gwinn, who's also been hampered by injuries, had several quality scoring chances in the second half.
"We certainly played well enough to score that third goal and we came awfully close in that last 5-10 minutes," Schmidt said. "I thought it was an even game. Both teams had their chances."
The Tigers never trailed in the game. In the 15th minute, Molly Hernandez scored Douglas' first goal off an assist from Kali Schmidt. Later in the first half, Carson's Emily Maier beat a Tiger defender inside the box and slid a ball across the front of the goal, which Mary Cunningham poked past goalie Mallory Moore, which tied the game at 1.
"We hadn't been scored on all year. In fact, Mallory hasn't touched the ball that much," Schmidt said. "We just haven't had a chance to play a team that's at Carson's level."
With only seconds remaining in the first half, Gwinn scored off assists from Schmidt and Hernandez. It was the first time this season Carson (5-0, 3-0) has trailed at halftime.
The Senators didn't trail for long, though. In the 46th minute, Erin Stieber displayed some nifty skill, spinning a Douglas player inside the box, then turning and firing a shot, which bounced off the far post and into the net.
"When we scored the second goal, I told the team to play defensive," Popp said.
The Tigers pressurized the Senators' goal, but never could find the game winner. Douglas outshot Carson, 21-13.
"A couple of my players were upset by a tie and saying that it's worse than a loss," Schmidt said. "My players wanted to win this game, but we shouldn't be mad about a tie."
The Senators take on the Vikings on Saturday at 1 p.m. in South Lake Tahoe, while the Tigers play the Huskies on Saturday at 1 in Reno.
DOUGLAS 2, CARSON 1
Laura Hale scored for Carson (4-1) in its loss to Douglas in the junior varsity game.