Douglas girls too strong for Carson
Tigers powered by two goals from Vaneza Diaz
There were plenty of chances for the Carson girls soccer team to get a goal or two on the board against Douglas Saturday afternoon, but the Tigers held them off in a 3-0 win.
Carson had the first few opportunities of the contest with two free kicks inside of the game’s first 10 minutes, but one went high and the other was swallowed up by Douglas keeper Madelyn VonAhsen.
In the 11th minute, Douglas scored on its first shot on goal as Vaneza Diaz made a break down the far sideline and skipped a shot across the ground, which found the back of the net.
The Senators had another shot at a free kick in the 29th minute but were turned away.
Both teams traded shots toward the end of the half, but the Tigers had the best look off the foot of Devi Schwartz in the remaining seconds of the half. Schwartz’s shot drifted wide.
Carson’s Natalyn Wakeling knocked a header toward goal to open the second half, but the shot on goal was scooped up by VonAhsen.
In the 55th minute, Diaz connected on her second goal of the game for the Tigers.
Douglas’ Savanna Harrington ran on to a ball played down the home sideline and crossed it to the foot of Diaz who was standing open in the middle of the 18-yard box.
Diaz assisted on Douglas’ final goal, passing to the forehead of Madi Smalley in the 68th minute for the game’s final goal.
“She has the skill to be a starter all the time,” said Douglas head coach Andrew Robles of Diaz. “She’s been really progressing, she’s been following instructions, which is awesome. … She’s one of those strong players that is helping us out scoring goals.”
Carson had two more free kicks in the second half, but one sailed over top of the crossbar and the other was saved by VonAhsen in the 77th minute.
“I think we had a good intensity match,” said Carson senior defender Annika Wick. “I think that we played a really good game.”
Both Wick and Micah Merriner serve as the team’s captains and both thought Carson’s added intensity throughout the game was a positive.
“They’re an aggressive team and you definitely just have to keep up with them,” said Merriner.
Carson goalie Larissa Ráel had a diving save in each half that helped keep Douglas from extending its lead.
Season’s final stretch
The win moves Douglas to 8-5-1 on the year and 3-1-1 in league play, heading into a week without games.
After the week off, the Tigers will have their five final league games to determine the postseason.
The Tigers sit in second place behind Galena, who they tied 1-1 earlier this season. The two are slated to meet again at Galena Oct. 19.
Along with Galena, Douglas will finish out playing the four other teams in the league for the second time this season.
“It’s not going to be an off week for us,” said Robles. “We have to keep our minds focused. The job’s not done until we get to that state final and carry that trophy off.”
Senators continuing to find their stride
With a record 4-9-1 this season and a 2-3 clip in league play, Carson enters the same break as the rest of the area.
The Senators sit just outside of playoff contention in fifth place in the Sierra League, directly behind Damonte Ranch (2-2-1).
Just like Douglas, Carson’s five remaining contests come as a second round against its Sierra League foes. The Senators will go to Damonte Ranch Oct. 22.
The rematch between Douglas and Carson will be Oct. 29 at Carson High School.