STHS survives Carson
The stars were aligned for the Carson High School girls’ soccer team in its upset bid of South Tahoe. The Vikings’ Sarah Burks, though, crashed the party.
Burks scored two goals in a five-minute span late in the second half as South Tahoe posted a 2-1 come-from-behind Sierra League victory over second-place Carson on Tuesday at the Community Youth Sports Complex.
“The girls were relieved,” said STHS coach Clint Lockhart, whose team defeated Carson 3-1 on Sept. 15 in Carson City. “They knew before the season even started that their two toughest games were going to be against Carson. They were definitely up for this game and they kept fighting.”
The Senators’ Kayla Sanchez, who missed Saturday’s 2-2 tie with Reno because of injury, came off the bench in the first half and scored in the 45th minute to put Carson up 1-0. And for most of the second half, the Senators seemed to be in control and ready to close the gap between them and the first-place Vikings in the league standings.
Instead, South Tahoe strengthened its position in the standings by improving to 9-0 (27 points). Carson, meanwhile, dropped to 6-2-1 (19 points) and will need help from others if they hope to contend for another league crown.
“We just made poor decisions and it cost us two goals,” said Carson coach Randy Roser. “I doubt South Tahoe is going to lose to anybody else. And as much as we came up here for the girls to get their shot at winning league, we have a young team and they are still focused on the zone tournament. We have 10 sophomores and we’re still building.”
The first half displayed a bit of posturing by both teams and neither seriously threatened. The Vikings’ fastest player, Morgan Cook, moved from her usual outside midfield position to defense in order to shadow Sanchez or Brandi Vega, Carson’s other speedy attacking player.
The tactical decision seemed to have worked in the first half. But a few minutes into the second half, a poor clearance by the Vikings resulted in an uncontested ball floating through the air. Sanchez seized the opportunity and headed a shot over STHS keeper Candace Prescott for the game’s first goal.
The Vikings, who hadn’t allowed a goal in six previous league games, appeared stunned, especially after they watched Tess Braun’s shot two minutes earlier hit the cross bar.
“Their spirit never got broke, but they were a little disappointed when the goal went in,” Lockhart said. “It was a mistake in communication. And to give up a goal like that, it would’ve been a heartbreaker to lose a game like that.”
That type of speculation ended in the 72nd minute when the referee issued a yellow card to a Carson player for an infraction away from the ball. The resulting indirect kick near the middle of the field was taken by Kylie Noll, who lofted a ball over the Carson defense into open space.
Burks ran onto the pass and slotted a shot past Carson keeper Jen Johnson to tie the game at 1. Five minutes later, Burks collected a pass from Karli Vath on the wing and drilled a left-footed shot over Johnson, beating her to the far post.
It was the second come-from-behind win this season for South Tahoe (15-2), which also came back to beat High Desert League frontrunner Reed.