The day belonged to Enrique Mendoza and Carson High's back-line defenders.
Mendoza scored both of the Senators' goals, and the defense limited arch-rival Douglas to only five shots in a 2-1 Sierra League victory Saturday afternoon at Carson High School.
The win upped Carson's record to 2-0-1 overall and 1-0 in league play. Douglas dropped to 5-2-1 overall and 0-1 in league.
"It's a big thing (to beat Douglas)," Mendoza said. "They're our rival. It's the one game that everybody looks forward to playing. It's exciting."
And, obviously a great way to start the season.
"We enjoyed this (win)," said Carson coach Jason Koop, whose team owned a 17-5 advantage in attempted shots. "We can take that into next week.
"I don't think they played as well as they could, and I don't think we played as well as we can. I thought both teams were tentative. They were waiting to see what was going to happen instead of making something happen. The defense was strong again. We had one breakdown on their counter attack when they scored."
Koop had special praise for Mats Boehnke, Kevin Brush, Sam Rojas and John Nuthall for their defensive work.
Carson broke a scoreless game in the 29th minute when Mendoza lofted a corner kick over the head of Douglas goalie Chris Aguilar, who played a solid game with six saves.
"You always do a lot of corner kicks in practice," Mendoza said. "I was just looking for Royal (Good). I guess the wind just took it in."
"I haven't seen many (corner kicks) go in," Koop said. "It's a surprise when it does. Usually the goalie has it handled. As a player, you always dream about popping one in there."
It was unfortunate for Aguilar and the Tigers.
"Aguilar did well," Douglas coach Milko Vasquez said. "He kept us in the game. He misjudged that first (one) goal. It's definitely something he needs to be aware of."
Douglas tied the game at 1 approximately 10 minutes later. Kyle Manschreck dribbled the ball down the left sideline and executed a perfect cross to Eddie Vega, who beat Bud Kop.
"It's like we practice it," Vasquez said. "It's better when you do it in a game. I know they outshot us in the first half, but I think we had better scoring opportunities. In the second half, they dominated us. They are in a little better shape. We're getting there."
Douglas had a great chance to go ahead in the 59th minute when Brush came up and attempted to get to a loose ball. Brush whiffed on the kick, and David Sturgess dribbled the ball toward the Carson goal, only to be turned away by Kop.
Vasquez said Sturgess has a thigh bruise and is only playing at about 65 percent.
Mendoza put Carson ahead to stay at the 68th minute when he beat Aguilar for the second time.
"Logan (Ahl) headed it and the ball came out," Aguilar. "I called for it and I scored it."
"He (Mendoza) should not have been open," Vasquez said. "We lost sight of our coverage."
Carson's Zach Weisman missed from close range moments later, and that was the last true scoring opportunity for either team in the final 12 minutes.
Notes: Vasquez praised the play of defenders Kenny Jones, Justin Norvell, Travis Goldade and Manschreck ... Carson plays at North Tahoe on Monday and hosts Hug on Tuesday ... Loren Wooldridge (hip) and Edgar Gomez (groin) left the game with injuries ... Carson's win was worth five points in the Sierra Nevada Cup, which is sponsored by Les Schwab Tires.
Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281