It would have been easy and understandable if Carson High's soccer team had its thoughts on Saturday's Sierra League opener against visiting Douglas and overlooked Bishop Manogue.
That wasn't the case. Carson (1-0-1) outshot the Miners 28-8 en route to an easy 5-0 nonleague win Wednesday night at Carson High.
Brady Roser, Logan Ahl, Enrique Mendoza, Edgar Gomez and Royal Good scored a goal apiece. Good also dished out three assists.
"I think we played well for our first game here at home," Carson coach Jason Koop said. "There are things we need to clear up; our touches and pushing up the ball.
"The first half we executed what we worked on all week. I just didn't think we executed like we can. We're going to have to do better when we go against teams like Douglas, South Tahoe and Reno. Everybody got to play a little bit for the most part. They are starting to play well together."
Especially the front line of Roser, Mendoza and Ramay Nunez, who kept the pressure on the Miners throughout the game.
"It was a tough night, but a good night," Manogue coach Ian Stoddard said. "We're starting four or five freshmen. We only have six upperclassmen (juniors and seniors). To get a result like that against a team like Carson isn't too bad. They are a real quick group."
Roser got the Senators off to a good start with a goal in the fifth minute, and for the next 19 minutes, the ball stayed mostly in the middle of the field as neither team was able to sustain any offense.
Manogue's best offense came in the 24th minute when Bud Kop stopped two consecutive shots from point-blank range. They were his only two saves of the half.
During the next 10 minutes, Mendoza had two good scoring opportunities and tried to set up Roser, who was unable to head the ball in.
Ahl finally scored off a free kick in the 34th minute to give Carson a 2-0 lead which it took into the intermission.
Carson stepped up the pace in the second half, outshooting the Miners 17-4.
Mendoza scored in the 52nd minute, Gomez banged in his own missed shot at the 65th minute and Good concluded the scoring at the 72nd minute.
Stoddard said his team appeared tired and was unable to do a decent job clearing the ball out of its own part of the field.
"We did run out of gas," Stoddard said. "They are older and stronger. We've been having trouble clearing. They go for space rather than feet because they are panicking (under defensive pressure)."
"They are a very young team," Koop said. "Our size and speed wore them down. We're in a little bit better shape, though we're lacking a little right now in that department."
Koop praised the defensive play of Zach Weisman, John Nuthall and Kevin Brush, who made Kop's job much easier.
No doubt that trio will have a tougher time Saturday against Douglas.
"I don't know a whole lot about them," Koop said. "I'm sure they will be just as fired up as us. We're excited to play. It's unfortunate that we have to play them first. I'm sure we'll be pumped. It's the first league match, and you want to come out strong and set the tone for the rest of the league."
Notes: The Carson-Douglas boys match starts at 3 p.m. The Sierra Nevada Cup was instituted this year, and is sponsored by Les Schwab Tires. The boys and girls varsity soccer squads will be playing for 5 Nevada Cup points in each match.
Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (775) 881-1281