Rivalry: Carson girls soccer edges Douglas, 1-0
Douglas (No. 3 Sierra) @ McQueen (No. 2 High Desert), 3:30 p.m.
Wooster (No. 4 Sierra) @ Reno (No. 1 High Desert), 3:30 p.m.
Spanish Springs (No. 3 High Desert) @ Galena (No. 2 Sierra), 3:30 p.m.
Reed (No. 4 High Desert) @ Carson (#1 Sierra), 6 p.m.
Opportunity knocked Tuesday afternoon for an injury-depleted Douglas High girls soccer team. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they were unable to answer the call as Carson scored early and made it stand for a 1-0 Sierra League season-ending victory in Minden.
Sophomore Yanitzia Perez scored in the ninth minute and Carson (15-0-1 league) went on to win the defensive struggle on a windy and overcast day. Douglas (9-6-1 league, 10-7-1 overall), which played without three starters due to injuries, had two shots hit the crossbar and an apparent goal by Kyla Hinnant was waved off on an offside call.
“I thought we played very well today, and so did they,” said Douglas coach Werner Christen. “We had our opportunities. Give them credit. Carson is real solid in the back. There’s a reason they’re undefeated.”
Perez scored on a follow-up shot from about 16 yards. The ball had just caromed away from the Douglas goal in the middle of the box toward Perez, who struck a shot to the left side that arched into the back of the net for her 11th goal of the season.
“We had our moments,” Carson coach Greg Lehman said. “We had to weather the storm a few times when we didn’t have the ball, but the girls fought hard to the end.”
Douglas had its best scoring opportunity 15 minutes into the second half when freshman Madison Smalley blasted a shot that struck the crossbar and bounced down in front of the goal line, where Camarena gathered in the ball in front of Kyla Hinnant.
“Madison got a nice pass from Kyla and hit a rocket,” Christen said. “What a great shot. I think it’s (the goal frame) still shaking.”
The Tigers received a strong performance from sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Smith.
“She was not pleased with the way she played in the first half,” Christen said of Smith. “But she probably played her best half of soccer in that second half. She got great clearance on her punts; those created some opportunities for us.”
Likewise, Carson sophomore goalkeeper Vanessa Camarena logged her seventh shutout of the season and fifth in six games. Carson has allowed eight goals all season.
“She’s gotten better as the season’s gone on,” Lehman said.
Valerie Sue Meyer and Hailey Palotas also blocked shot attempts inside the final six minutes to help preserve the shutout.
Despite absorbing their fifth loss in six games, Christen was pleased with what he saw on the field. Of those six games, five have been decided by 1-0 scores, and the Tigers have only allowed six goals during that span.
And the Tigers were without sophomore forward Alexa Moss, who has been lost for the season after sustaining a shoulder separation last Saturday in a 1-0 loss at Galena. Abby Jens and Peri Buck are also injured. Senior goalkeeper Grace Brooks, who normally shares time in the net with Smith, was absent due to a college recruiting trip.
The Northern 4A Region Tournament opens for girls on Tuesday. Douglas, the Sierra League’s No. 3 seed, is scheduled to play at 4 p.m. against High Desert League runner-up McQueen.
“We need a bloop single,” Christen said with smile. “We’re like a baseball team that’s in a hitting slump and needs that one hit to snap out of it. We’re playing a real good McQueen on Tuesday, and if things work out, we could see Carson again in the semifinals.”