As expected, Carson High's girls soccer team cruised to an easy win over Reno in its 4A regional opener.
The competition will get a lot tougher when the Senators face Sierra League rival Damonte Ranch in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Damonte Ranch.
"I expect a good game," said Josilyn Daggs, who scored a season-high four times in the 8-2 win over Reno. "They will be ready to come out and play. They have wanted to beat us all season."
"I expect a very physical game," said Carson midfielder Kenzie Tillitt, who scored three times. "There is going to be a lot of contact between both teams."
Carson won both meetings against Damonte this year, 2-0 and 3-1.
There was a lot of contact in the Reno game, though it appeared the Huskies were initiating most of it after falling behind early. In fact, coaches on each side were issued yellow cards in the final 40 minutes.
Reno's tactic early was to attempt to keep the score close. The Huskies played the equivalent of a basketball zone defense - clog the middle and force the team to beat you from outside.
That worked for a while. Carson outshot Reno 9-6 in the opening half and had good looks early when Tillitt and Kaitlyn Holmes both put shots over the crossbar, but Reno was content to sit back and defend. None of the six shots Emmy Heller faced in the first half were difficult to stop.
Brenda Torres opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Torres corralled a rebound and tried to dink it through. The ball moved a couple of feet and Torres got a foot on it again, this time getting it by Reno goalkeeper Claire DeAngeli.
Daggs scored her first goal of the game in the 27th minute, beating DeAngeli with a hard shot to the left corner of the net to give the Senators a 2-0 lead.
"When it was 2-0 they were playing off (on defense)," Carson coach Randy Roser said. "They were hoping to keep us from scoring so the game would have to go to penalty kicks."
Lindsay Hand scored Reno's first goal in extra time at the end of the first half, slicing Carson's lead to 2-1.
"They didn't get the ball (far) into our half for the first 15 or so minutes," Tillitt said. "I think we (as a team) didn't think we had to work that hard."
Roser thinks that goal also gave Reno some hope that it might pull off an upset. All of a sudden, Reno wanted to attack a little more, and that just opened things up for the faster, more talented Senators.
In a pan of seven-plus minutes, Carson put up seven shots and four of them found the back of the net.
"When they start to spread out, then we're good to go with our attack," Roser said.
Tillitt started the barrage off a corner kick in the 44th minute. The ball bounced out and Tillitt tapped it with the side of her foot to make it 3-1. Fifty-two seconds later, Daggs pounded one into the right corner for a 4-1 lead.
"The defender backed off and let me shoot," Daggs said.
Four minutes later, Arran Rumbaugh crossed the ball to the middle and Tillitt headed it in for a 5-1 lead. Tillitt's final goal came in the 52nd minute off a pass from Kianha Pimental.
Daggs got her hat trick in the 66th minute and then added her season-high fourth goal in extra time to make it 8-.1 Reno's Kaelyn Hawkins scored moments before the game ended to complete the scoring.
Unofficially, Daggs has 23 goals this season, tops on the team.