SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - Carson High's girls soccer team won't get any style points for its performance, but the Senators will gladly take the win.
Speedy Kayla Sanchez scored in the 60th minute to give the Senators a hard-fought 1-0 win over South Tahoe at South Tahoe Middle School Saturday afternoon.
The victory upped Carson's record to 5-0 while South Tahoe dropped to 3-2.
"It was not a pretty game," Carson coach Randy Roser said. "When you play on a small field like theirs, it's always close. It (the field) is narrow and short.
"It was a very physical game. Anytime you play at Tahoe there is no place to go. Somebody is always on top of you."
Physical turned to dirty when Sanchez broke the scoreless tie. Sanchez was in hot pursuit of a free ball. The South Tahoe goalkeeper came out and tried to dive on the ball. The goalkeeper stopped it with her upper torso, but the ball apparently came loose and Sanchez rolled it in.
Sanchez didn't have time to celebrate her goal. A South Tahoe defender shoved Sanchez roughly to the ground, and Sanchez retaliated with a shove of her own. The South Tahoe player received a red card for her actions, which means she has to sit out South Tahoe's next game. Sanchez received a yellow card.
"The keeper has to have control of the ball," Roser said. "She got pushed from behind, so the official has to make a decision. Do we get a penalty kick or does he let her hard charge the keeper."
"She started to dive when I went to take the kick," Sanchez said. "The ball rebounded off her chest."
Despite playing a man short for the final 20 minutes, South Tahoe kept up the aggression. The Vikes picked up two yellow cards, the second resulting in a soft red card inside the final four minutes of the game.
Carson didn't play well initially with a man advantage. In fact, the Senators didn't get any quality shots and seemed to be back on their collective heels a bit.
"We had a lot of underclassmen in there," Roser said. "With the fouls and pressure, we were panicking. We got things back."
The Vikings had two good scoring opportunities in the second half. The first never got through to Allison Otto because of stout defensive play, and the second went off the left upright.
Roser praised the defensive work of Krista Wisbar, Anna Macquarie, Sammy Valerius and Belle Fleming.