Fast start lifts Carson to win
Payback was on the minds of the Carson Senators Wednesday in their Sierra League boys soccer regular season-ending contest against arch rival Douglas.
The Senators scored four goals in the opening 19 minutes, and in the end, six different players scored goals en route to a 6-1 victory on an afternoon that saw intermittent rain showers.
Carson (12-3-1 league) already had second-place in the Sierra League secured, however, there was some added incentive at stake. That is, the Senators were looking to reverse a 1-0 loss at home on Oct. 9 against Douglas (5-7-4 league, 9-7-5 overall).
“I was very happy with the result today,” Carson coach Michael Alvarez said. “I knew the team wanted to vindicate their loss earlier in the year.”
Douglas pulled to within 4-1 in the 29th minute after Koby Hinnant converted a penalty kick.
“It was unfortunate we didn’t play well at the beginning of the game,” Douglas coach Milko Vasquez said. “I knew they would be ready for us after we beat them in their house the last time. We just didn’t match their intensity, that was the difference.”
Douglas had other opportunities to score, including a direct kick that Pedro Vega blasted off the crossbar just 15 seconds into the game. Flavi Lopez struck a shot from the right side that narrow rolled wide past the far post in the sixth minute. In the 10th minute, Niklas Wegner struck a shot that deflected off a defender and goalkeeper Efren Ramirez made a diving stop.
Alvarez noted that an offensive game plan adjustment helped pay big dividends for the Senators.
“We changed our formation and added a forward,” he said. “We knew from the last game that Douglas would play more of a defensive formation with four or five in the back, so we knew we would need more offensive firepower to counter that.”
All the Senators did was convert four of their first six shots in the opening 19 minutes to take a 4-0 lead.
Rogelio Herrera got the offense rolling in the seventh minute when he received a pass from Guillermo Perez-Morris for an open 10-yard shot that he grounded into the net.
One minute later, Guillermo Hernandez-Galvan placed a corner kick in front of the net and Abel Sanchez headed the ball into the net.
Brian Llamas extended the lead to 3-0 in the 14th minute when he struck a sharp line drive to the back of the net from 25 yards out.
Alejandro Gonzalez scored the fourth goal in the 19th minute on a follow shot after Hernandez-Galvan chipped the ball in front of the net.
Oscar Ventura scored on a penalty kick in the 40th minute to push their advantage to 5-1 moments before the end of the first half.
Carson added one more goal in the second half on a long shot in the 69th minute by Joshua Huss.
Douglas plays its region tournament opener Tuesday night at 6 p.m. against North Valleys in Reno. The defending region tournament champion North Valleys Panthers posted a 1-0 victory at Douglas on Sept. 2.
First, the Tigers will be looking to put Wednesday’s loss behind them and get ready for their first postseason appearance since 2009.
“We’re looking forward to it; we haven’t been there in a while” Vasquez said. “All records are off the table, we’re playing in a brand new season now. You need to be focused and play with a sense off urgency (in the playoffs) because if you don’t, you’re going to go home early.”