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Douglas boys hammer Carson

by Chuck Smock

It was hard to tell who was more surprised after the Douglas boys’ soccer team pounded the defending state champion Carson Senators, 6-0, on Friday at Mills Park in Carson City.

The Tigers dominated from start to finish in a game that was expected to be a close battle between two of the top teams in the North.

“We played well up front and we put together some good combinations,” said DHS senior Dylan Sheridan, who scored the game-winning goal in the first half and added three assists. “We’re definitely getting more organized as we play more games. We’re working things out every time we play.”

T.J. Plummer and David Harder also added first-half goals, giving the Tigers a commanding 3-0 lead at the intermission.

Nick Hernandez made it 4-0 in the second half before Derek Dimitri finished the scoring with back-to-back goals.

Carson lost 10 players from last year’s team to graduation.

“It’s a new team (of defenders) playing back there,” Carson senior Jeff Johnson said after the game. “It’s going to take a couple of more practices before we start thinking like a team. There were a lot of mental letdowns. I can’t explain the 6-0 score.”

Neither could Douglas coach Mike Robinson.

“No, we didn’t,” Robinson said when asked if he had expected such a lopsided final score. “Obviously, we’ve only played three teams, but we thought Carson would be strong competition.”

While impressed with his team’s ability to create and finish scoring opportunities against the Senators, Robinson was equally pleased with the way the Tigers (2-0-1) contained the Carson attack.

Adam Sheldon drew the assignment of marking Carson’s top scoring threat Jamie Calvo. Sheldon shadowed Calvo all over the field – even when he briefly moved away from his strength to the left side of the field.

“The four guys in the back and the goalkeeper kept the state champs to zero goals,” Robinson said.

Rex Belshaw and Zac Beres controlled the middle of the defensive end of the field. Caleb Currence turned in another strong performance at the other outside fullback position. And goalkeeper Chad Love recorded his first shutout in only his third career game in goal.

“They were the state champs last year, but that didn’t bother us,” Sheldon said. “All of us have played together together on JV and have played together before high school.”

Sheldon added that he and his teammates are getting more comfortable with the change to a flat back four defense from the stopper/sweeper formation they had been used to playing. Communication on the field has become a big part of the defense.

“It’s different, but once you get used to playing it it gets easier,” Sheldon said. “The key is talking, telling each other when someone comes into their zone, and helping each other out by switching.

“You have to cover each other’s back. If someone moves up the field, you have to drop back and cover.”

The Tigers will play at Sparks today in a game that is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.

Douglas will play at South Tahoe on Saturday.

Nevada Appeal sports writer Erick Studenicka contributed to this report.