Vikings have little room for error at Carson
By Jeremy Evans
Tribune staff writer
There was only one team this season that made South Tahoe struggle en route to its second con-secutive Sierra Division title. That same team now stands in the way of the Vikings advancing to their third consecutive regional championship game.
“We’re excited and ready for this game,” said Carson coach Jason Koop. “What’s better than playing the No. 1 team and defending state champs in the semifinals? I’m confident with where we are.”
Koop and the Senators have plenty of reasons to be confident going into today’s 4 p.m. Northern 4A semifinal game at Carson High. Carson, which is 6-1-2 in its last nine games, has lost twice this season to South Tahoe, but both games were 1-0 decisions that could’ve gone either way.
“We were the team in those games that made that one mistake,” Koop said. “And against quality teams like South Tahoe, it can cost you. We certainly weren’t overmatched against them either time. But we know what South Tahoe is going to give us, and it’s a real good game. I was more concerned about Elko because they were a complete unknown.”
The Senators, who advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 first-round win over Elko on Saturday, haven’t gotten out of the first round of zone since they won state in 1998. Defending state champion South Tahoe (16-1-1) is in the semifinals after a 3-1 win over Manogue on Saturday. The Vikings realize the difficulty in beating the same team three times in one season, but are equally confident going into the game.
“This really is no surprise,” said first-year coach Chris DeLeon. “I think it’s really going to come down again to that first team that makes a mistake. In these playoff games, it always comes down to that. I don’t think it’s a negative playing the same team three times, other than it’s hard to beat a team like Carson three times.”
Since all four Sierra Division teams won their first-round matches on Saturday, South Tahoe, which went 12-0 in division play, will have to pull off the feat twice should it win its third straight regional crown. Wooster and Douglas meet in the other semifinal at 6 p.m. at Carson High, with the zone championship scheduled for Saturday at Carson.
“They beat us twice, now we’re working to prove ourselves to South Tahoe and the rest of the state,” Carson junior midfielder Loren Wooldridge told the Nevada Appeal.