MINDEN - In one year's time, not a whole lot was different when the Carson Senators and Douglas Tigers got together to renew their boys soccer rivalry on Wednesday afternoon.
Same teams. Same outcome. Except this time, it was the Tigers who converted a late penalty kick to salvage a 2-2 tie in their second-round Sierra League meeting at home against Carson.
Martin Rubio blasted home the penalty kick for his second goal of the day with five minutes left to play as Douglas (5-2-1 league, 11-3-2 overall) came back to tie Carson (6-1-1, 7-2-2). It was similar to a meeting between the rivals to end the 2004 regular season when Carson converted a penalty kick just before the final whistle to pull out a playoff-clinching 2-2 tie in Carson City.
This time Carson coach Jason Koop wasn't satisfied with merely breaking even, especially after watching the Senators take a 2-1 lead just four minutes earlier on a goal by Edgar Gomez.
"It feels like losing," Koop said. "It was unfortunate the game had to end the way it did, but the tie doesn't hurt us in the standings. We just have to step it up from here on. Every game is important for us now."
Nor did Douglas coach Milko Vasquez care for the tie. Then again, it was better than a loss.
"It's hard to be positive when you tie. Like they say, a tie is like kissing your sister," Vasquez said with a laugh. "But we did tie a team that's pretty good, and a team that I thought out-possessed us in the second half."
With a glance at his shot chart, the Douglas coach added: "We had six shots and two goals. That's not bad. We just need to create more opportunities."
Carson outshot Douglas 10-6 during the game and 8-2 in the second half and appeared to have victory within grasp after Gomez scored in the 71st minute. The goal came off a free kick by Kevin Brush that Royal Good redirected toward Gomez directly in front of the net.
Then in the 75th minute, Rubio lined up for a penalty kick after the Tigers' Eddie Vega went down on the edge of the box. Rubio lined his shot high into the net for the equalizer.
Rubio also tied the score 1-1 on a header into the upper right corner of the net in the 24th minute, assisted by David Sturgess off Brendan Carlson's corner kick from the right side.
Good, making his first start since sustaining a concussion three weeks before in a match at North Tahoe, gave Carson a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute. Loren Wooldridge triggered the play and then Logan Ahl's through ball was gathered in by Good for the shot.
The Senators had three shots inside the final two minutes, one of which was stopped in a crowd by Douglas goalkeeper Chris Aguilar. Carson goalkeeper Bud Kop finished with two saves and Aguilar with three.
"Overall, it was a hard-fought battle," Vasquez said. "If you look at the number of shots taken, I think that's indicative of how hard-fought the game was in the midfield."
With one goal and one assist, Good was obviously a welcome sight on the field for Carson. Zach Weisman also saw his first action since being injured in the North Tahoe game.
"It's been slow, but we're starting to get our people back now and that's going to make a difference," said Koop, whose Senators visit Hug on Saturday.
Down 2-0 on the scoreboard and down one player after a red card in the opening 15 minutes of play, Carson rallied to score three unanswered goals and a 3-2 victory over Douglas.
Goals by Jeff Hulsey and Brian Jaggard gave Douglas its early 2-0 lead. Then, with just 10 players on the field after a red card and regular goalkeeper Chase Losche out with an injury, Carson made it 2-1 shortly before halftime when Martin Azzam scored off an assist from Nick Marsh.
Carson tied the score on an unassisted goal by Blake Moreland in the second half and then got the go-ahead goal as a cross by Marsh deflected off a defender and into the net.
Ryan Lee came in to play goalkeeper for Carson after Losche's injury early in the first half and didn't allow a goal the rest of the way. He was aided by a defense that included Andrew Hill, Alex Updegrove, Colter Thomas, Jared Baxter and John Medina.
n Contact Dave Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1220.