Monserrat Iza (21) smiles amongst her teammates after scoring in the final moments of a 2-2 tie against Damonte Ranch Tuesday night on Senior Night.
Jeff Mulvihill, Jr. | InstaImage
It was a reversal of fortune Tuesday night as Carson High girls soccer used a late tally to pull out a point in a 2-2 draw against Damonte Ranch.
The Senators have had some gut-wrenching losses after giving up late goals, but on Senior Night Carson continued to push through the final whistle.
Down 2-1 in the final moments, Alyssa Tomita put a shot wide of the Mustang net.
On the Senators next chance down the field, Tomita lifted a ball over a pair of Mustang defenders for Addison Morgan.
Morgan centered the ball to a sprinting Monserrat Iza, who one-timed a shot directly into the corner of the net.
“That was probably the most exciting goal of the season,” said senior Reese Mackenzie.
“That even brought a little tear out of my eye,” said Kaylee Garcia. “It was so emotional.”
The Senators never led on Senior Night, but controlled possession throughout the contest and found two timely goals.
Carson’s first tally was out on the break as Mackenzie passed the ball into space for Gracie Walt.
Walt put her defender on skates with two cuts before putting the ball back on Mackenzie’s foot for the finish in the 46th minute.
However, in the 60th minute Damonte Ranch was able to get a 2-1 lead, finding a goal from a tough angle.
Carson sat in seventh place coming into Tuesday night while Damonte was fifth.
At 3-7-2 after Tuesday night’s results, the Senators have pulled themselves into a tie for sixth with Bishop Manogue (3-6-2).
As adamant as the Senators have been about making the playoffs this season, with one contest left against the Miners – along with three others – Carson has put itself right back in the thick of things.
“We had lost to them previously,” said senior Natalyn Wakeling of the Mustangs. “To come back and tie them is a big step. I think we worked up to our opportunities. I think we worked hard and we should have had more.”
The Senators were also missing a few starters due to injury, giving the tie against Damonte Ranch more weight.
Once again, a Senator senior captain opted to change positions to fill a hole that Carson needed.
“We had hope until the last minute and we believed in each other,” said Garcia.
(Reese Mackenzie, right, and Angie Cortes, left, hug AlyssaTomita after Mackenzie scored the Senators' opening goal against the Mustangs Tuesday
/ Jeff Mulvihill, Jr. | InstaImage )Opening 40
In the opening half, the Senators were able to control a majority of the possession and put a number of chances on net.
Damonte Ranch countered in the 10th minute with a goal.
In the 38th minute, Tomita was on the receiving end of a pass from Iza.
Tomita’s shot would have tested the Mustang keeper, if not for getting turned away by a Mustang defender at the top of the box.
Carson celebrated its eight seniors at halftime.
The departing class was the first under now four-year head coach Kyle Walt.
“We really haven’t beat a lot of teams and this year we’ve come really close and played teams really tough,” said Walt. “Just to watch them progress mentally, on and off the field, … they are just fantastic kids to be around.”
With the wins and the ties the Senators have been able to put together this season, Carson appears to be bonding at the right time.
“This is definitely my favorite season so far. Getting these ties and wins have been exciting,” said Mackenzie.
“Being a senior, you spend all these four years dedicating your time and effort,” said Garcia. “To maybe be going to playoffs, it’s amazing.”
There is still work to be done for Carson before the postseason dream can be realized.
UP NEXT: The road to the postseason continues Saturday as Carson (3-7-2) will stay at home and welcome in McQueen (5-4-1) to town. The Lancers won the first meeting this season 5-2 on September 11.
(Reese Mackenzie turns to run down the sideline Tuesday night against Damonte Ranch / Jeff Mulvihill, Jr. | InstaImage)