Senators stay atop league standings |

Senators stay atop league standings

Jeremy Evans

During warm-ups, Carson defender Matt Tillitts was spouting off to his teammates and coaches that he would score the game-winning goal against South Tahoe. It seemed a bit far-fetched since Tillitts had only scored once this season.

“We giggle about Matt sometimes,” said Carson coach Jason Koop.

Tillitts, however, followed through on his prediction, scoring on a 35-yard blast in the 54th minute to give the Senators a 1-0 Sierra League win over the Vikings on Wednesday at the Community Youth Sports Complex.

“He steps into our offense but more to deliver balls, not score goals,” Koop said. “This was obviously the most important goal he’s scored for us. It was a beauty.”

Carson remains in first place in the league standings at 7-0-2 (23 points). South Tahoe fell to 5-2-2 (15 points) and is in third place with five league games left before the Northern 4A playoffs.

“It was just a defensive lapse by the entire team,” STHS coach Chris DeLeon said of Tillitt’s goal, which screamed across the goal mouth and bounced off the far post and into the net. “The guy just had a free shot. It was a great goal, but we watched him shoot it.”

South Tahoe (12-3-2), which tied Carson on Sept. 15 in Carson City, had a flurry of chances in the second half but couldn’t convert. Anthony DeMarta had a shot ping off the post in the 43rd minute, while Andres Munoz and Gavin Chandler both had short-range headers that sailed over the cross bar.

Chandler nearly scored in the first half after a collision with the Carson keeper resulted in a loose ball in front of the net. His follow-up shot missed to the left.

“The level in the first game between us was pretty bad, but we were both bad,” DeLeon said. “Today, the level was really good. I think both teams have improved greatly. But all it takes in a game like this is one mistake, and Carson took advantage of it.”

In the next five days, Carson has road games against playoff contenders Douglas and Wooster, while South Tahoe plays at North Valleys on Saturday and at Reno next Tuesday.

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