RENO — Carson High had a plethora of first-half chances, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Coach Frank Martinez didn’t panic, he just moved Osvaldo Gomez to forward, and the talented junior made his coach look great.
Gomez, who normally plays midfield or defense, scored two goals in an 11-minute span of the second half to spark the defending state-champion Senators to a 2-0 season-opening win over Reno in a Northern 4A crossover game Wednesday afternoon.
“He’s another Roger (injured Rogelio Herrera),” Martinez said after the win. “He can play. We weren’t able to score. I know Osvaldo can finish.
“It wasn’t an easy match. They are a very good team. It’s going to be like this throughout the season. Everybody wants to beat us. It’s tough. I think sometimes the kids get a little overconfident. We hadn’t scrimmaged (and they had played in a tournament). We were a little rusty.”
Especially at the offensive end. Carson had six shots, and another good opportunity from 10 yards out Guillermo Perez-Morris missed.
“We are still getting to know each other,” Gomez said. “It was a little bit frustrating.”
Reno’s only shot on goal was a weak direct free kick Efren Ramirez easily scooped up.
The quartet of Peter Garrett, Christian Martinez, Perez-Morris and Raul Lopez was relentless and only a couple of times was caught out of position.
“Defensively we were solid,” said Garrett. “It takes a full team to play defense, and we all stepped up.”
Carson kept up the pressure in the second half.
In the 48th minute, Gomez got off a shot that was deflected by Reno goalie Austin Etnyre. Two minutes later, Etnyre went through a crowd to grab a Carson corner kick.
Carson got off six more shots before finally getting one past Etnyre in the 66th minute.
Danny Manzo drilled a hard ball that deflected off a the leg of a Reno player, and Gomez finished it off.
In the 77th minute, late-game replacement Eddie Porter threaded the needle with a pass to Gomez, who converted to give the Senators some breathing room.
“The first one I slid and hit it,” Gomez said. “The second one was a center and I put it in.”
It made for a successful debut and a great way to start the Martinez Era at CHS.
““It feels good to get the win,” Martinez said.