A lot of times, golden opportunities don't come around once. So after missing on her first golden chance, Carson High's Danielle Benamati wasn't going to miss again when she was given a reprieve.
After missing wide on a breakaway moments earlier, Benamati didn't miss on her second chance, scoring the goal that made the difference in a 2-1 win over Douglas on Saturday at CHS.
With the win, Carson earned five points toward the Sierra Nevada Cup presented by Les Schwab. But it was a hard earned win as both teams played well in an entertaining game that has become the norm in this rivalry.
The score was tied 1-1 when Benamati missed wide on a breakaway. But after Kasey Cano headed the ball forward, Benamati took advantage of her second chance, scoring on another breakaway to make it 2-1.
"I know you won't do that to me again," said Carson coach Randy Roser about what he told Benamati.
Roser added his team scoring in those situations has been such a sure thing that "I usually walk away because it's in the net. It was just a matter of finishing."
Carson, though, had to withstand a Douglas rally, and was up to the challenge thanks to the play of its defense and goalie Allie Otto, who made a save when Morgan Lefever had a breakaway to preserve the lead.
Both Otto and Douglas goalie Hillary Winans had outstanding games, with both finishing in double figures in saves. "Allie Otto had some great stops," Roser said. "She played well."
Douglas coach Lorraine Fitzhugh had similar praise for Winans. "She takes charge back there," Fitzhugh said. "She makes good decisions."
A big reason why the game was so entertaining is because of the speed each team has. Carson features speedy attackers such as Brandi Vega, Kayla Sanchez and Benamati. Douglas had Skylar Young and Lefever. "Both sides had threats to the defense, yeah, definitely," Fitzhugh said.
Carson's first major threat was stopped when Vega was denied on a one-on-one situation by Winans. Vega later nearly scored again when her shot from the right side bounced off the top of the crossbar. Both teams had their share of chances, but the first half ended scoreless.
Roser said his team was dropping off of Lefever and Young too much in the first half, but did a much better job marking them in the second half.
"The second half, the defense came out and played well," he said. "The defense definitely played well the second half."
But Lefever was still able to break away for a goal that gave Douglas a 1-0 lead early in the second half. Carson responded when Vega cross a pass to Sanchez, who broke free in the middle of the goal box. The play forced Douglas to push Sanchez from behind, giving Carson a corner kick that was converted by Sammy Valerius that made the score 1-1.
Among others who had shots for Carson were Cano, Cassie Bowman, Ann Sinnott, Sanchez and Amanda Osborne.
"They kept it pretty tight," said Roser about Douglas. "It's a good match. It keeps the rivalry going. You always like to come out with a win."
Others who took shots for Douglas included Delaney Battista. "It went back and forth," said Fitzhugh about the game. "I'm happy. I think we could have won it. You're always disappointed when you lose.
"I think my girls did real well. I'm proud of them. We'll work on some stuff. With a few tweaks, we'll get there."