RENO - The Carson girls' soccer season ended one day earlier than expected.
An own goal and a converted penalty kick after a controversial call keyed Pahrump Valley's 2-1 win over the Senators in the NIAA 4A state semifinals Friday at Damonte Ranch High School.
It sets up an unlikely final between Bishop Manogue, a 2-1 winner over two-time defending state champ Douglas, and Pahrump. That game starts at 10 a.m.
Carson finished its outstanding season with a 16-4 and a regional championship to its credit. And, with only four players graduating, the Senators could find themselves back in the state tournament next year.
The outcome left the Senators frustrated and in tears. This was one they let get away, and the players knew it. To lose on an own goal and a disputed penalty kick is enough to make you sick to your stomach.
"Definitely not one of our best efforts," said senior Kaitlyn Holmes. "We didn't play to the best of our ability. Nothing went our way today."
"We had a lot of good opportunities," said sophomore forward Josilyn Daggs, who scored Carson's only goal. "We just couldn't finish."
Unofficially, Carson outshot Pahrump 13-10. The Senators dominated the first half, and the Lady Trojans held their own in the second 40 minutes.
The game-winning goal came in the 63rd minute when Courtney Lindsay hammered a penalty kick to the right corner past Carson keeper Emmy Heller.
"I knew exactly where she was going," said Heller. "I just slipped."
The play came about when a Carson player was called for a handball in the penalty box area. According to Roser, the official said the violation was on Brenda Torres.
Roser said it wasn't a good call. After the game he and the center referee were talking in the middle of the field.
"The hand ball call in the box, that gave them the win," Roser said. "The Pahrump girl was going up for a header, and she couldn't head it because her hand was up there. Brenda didn't even jump for the ball. The ball went to the ground, and Brenda played it there. I'm sure I'll get in trouble for saying that.
"We didn't play well. We didn't play well enough to win. We had opportunities that we didn't put away."
Carson played with a frenzy after falling behind to no avail.
Twice in the last six minutes, senior forward/midfielder Arran Rumbaugh had opportunities from point-blank range. The first shot at Kiaya Nauck came so hard that Nauck didn't have a chance to reach down and catch it. She appeared to deflect it with her leg. About 30 seconds later, Rumbaugh popped a header on goal which was saved.
Carson's last serious opportunity came off a corner kick which Nauck made a play on.
"She had some good stops," Holmes said.
Carson didn't get off to a good start, allowing the aforementioned own goal in the fifth minute.
"Emmy was calling for the ball, and Shannon (Flaherty) played it across the front of the goal and Emmy just couldn't get there to knock it down."
Pahrump almost made it 2-0 five minutes later when Sydney Sladek's shot went off Heller's hands, hit the crossbar and made its way back into Heller's hands.
From that point on, the first half belonged to the Senators. Rumbaugh pounded one that Nauck deflected in the 11th minute. Two minutes later, Kenzie Tillitt blasted a free kick that Nauck caught. In the 26th minute, Rumbaugh sent one over the crossbar.
A little more than a minute later, Carson broke through. Rumbaugh sent a through ball to Daggs, who beat Nauck to tie the match at 1.
"I called for the ball and I was wide open," Daggs said.
Carson threatened to go ahead in the 42nd minute when Rumbaugh's shot was deflected out to Daggs, who was wide right with her ensuing shot.
Neither team scored in the next 20 minutes until the controversial hand ball violation happened.