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Cougars drop regional final in shootout
by Damian Tromerhauser
Nov 04, 2012 | 2718 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Julio Soto (foreground), of Spanish Springs, holds off a Carson pursuer while surveying the field during Saturday's regional final at Damonte Ranch.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Julio Soto (foreground), of Spanish Springs, holds off a Carson pursuer while surveying the field during Saturday's regional final at Damonte Ranch.
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For nearly 50 minutes, the Spanish Springs High boys soccer team held a ticket to the Nevada Division I State Championships. Unfortunately for the Purple and Silver, Carson snatched the ticket away along with the Northern crown in heartbreaking fashion.

After the Senators tied the game at 1-1 in the 66th minute, the score remained deadlocked at the end of regulation. A pair of 15-minute overtime periods did not settle the score either, leading to a shootout. Putting all five of its shots in the back of the net, Carson took a 1-1 (5-3 in shootout) victory on Saturday afternoon, earning the right to represent the North at state.

“If you can’t score more than one goal, that’s what happens,” Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said. “I thought we had a good attack. There were a couple of scrums in the middle of the box, but we just didn’t put it in.”

The Cougars got on the scoreboard first in the 23rd minute. Junior midfielder Marshall Andrew booted a bouncing ball that rocketed just under the outstretched arms of the Carson goalkeeper and off the left goal post for the goal to hand SSHS the lead.

The one-goal advantage held over the next 40 minutes as the Cougs tried to build on their lead and Carson attempted to mark the equalizer. In the 66th minute, the Senators broke through.

Slicing through the SSHS defense, Carson worked its way into the box before junior Zach Smith found an opening and took advantage, tying the contest at 1-1.

“I don’t think our midfielders marked up and they cut through the middle,” Moreland said of the match-leveling goal. “If you don’t mark up, they’ll score on you. They just got one through.”

Both sides had prime opportunities in the overtime sessions to score the 'Golden Goal' and take the victory, but neither managed to put the ball across the goal line.

In the shootout, the Senators converted each of their tries, never giving Spanish Springs a shot at its fifth turn as Viridiana Hernandez sealed the win for the Senators on the final penalty kick.

Despite the tough loss, Moreland said Spanish Springs (11-6-2) could still be proud of the season it had.

“We went through our ups and downs and we just didn’t finish it like we wanted to,” he said. “We had a great season. We had quality seniors. We’ll come back next year. We have our goalie and our defense which is good. I have 14 juniors on my team, so we’ll be back next year.”

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