MINDEN - It was bound to happen eventually.
After creating excellent scoring chances throughout the game, the Carson girls soccer team opened the floodgates on the Douglas Tigers, scoring three goals in the last 11 minutes to capture an impressive 4-0 win on Tuesday afternoon.
Carson was simply a couple steps faster on both sides of the ball. The Senators completely isolated Douglas' scoring attack to post its fourth consecutive shutout.
Defenders Samantha Valerius, Michelle Fleming, Jill Coates, Krista Wisbar and Jill Coats kept Douglas from creating any serious scoring opportunities and goalie Alli Otto made a number of solid saves when she had to.
Offensively, Carson dominated possession and the number of shots on goal throughout the game, but couldn't finish on any of its chances until just before halftime.
Sophomore Kayla Sanchez broke free on a long clear with less than a minute remaining before halftime and the reigning 4A state 100-meter dash track champion outran two defenders to get a one-on-one with Douglas keeper Hillary Winans. Winans charged the ball but Sanchez made a move to the right, scooted past a diving Winans and punched the ball home for the lead.
Douglas, aided on defense by Meghan Olsen, Alicia Sturgess, Jessi Chitwood and Allison Andraski, struggled to contain the swift Sanchez, but managed to keep the Senators at bay until nearly the end of the game.
Winans, despite the four goals which came mostly on defensive breakdowns, was simply stellar throughout, making a number of acrobatic grabs along the way.
She made a diving save on a Sanchez shot in the 24th minute, charged out on Sanchez in the 30th minute to make a save at point-blank range and made a finger-tip grab on a sharp shot from Kasey Cano in the 25th minute.
Perhaps her best stretch of the game came midway through the second half when she made three saves on consecutive shots directly in front of the net, blocking the last with her face before scooping the ball in safely.
Douglas, generally considered to be one of the faster teams in the region, couldn't match up with Carson forwards Sanchez, Cano and Brandi Vega. The Senators just managed to get to the loose balls first and did an excellent job of playing the one-touches to their advantage.
That paid dividens late in the game.
Valerius made a strong run up the middle on a Danielle Benamati corner kick and headed the ball in for a nice-looking goal in the 69th minute.
Two minutes later, Benamati took a crossing pass from Sanchez and scored on a rebound for the 3-0 lead.
Cassie Bowman wrapped up the scoring on the day with only five minutes left, taking a pass from Cano and beating Winans to the far left post through heavy traffic in front of the net.
Carson improved to 9-0 in league. Douglas dropped to 10-5 overall, 7-2 in league and suffered its first shutout since a 1-0 loss to Spanish Springs to open the season.
Helaine Berris scored with seven minutes remaining as Carson edged Douglas 1-0. Katerina VonRumpf brought the ball up the left side on a breakaway then crossed the ball over the middle to an open Berris for a shot that broke the scoreless deadlock.
"The game went back and forth," Carson coach Doug Benamati said. "Both teams had their opportunities."
The Carson defensive line of Julia Lapham, Kaileen Bachman, Alli Collier, Kim Burke, Tara Silsby and Lauren Schulz played well as goalkeeper Carly Mathat posted the shutout. Forward Mackenzie Groth also played well on the offensive end, according to coach Benamati.
n Joey Crandall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 782-5121, ext. 212.