Spanish Springs’ season came to a difficult close on Thursday night at Carson.
With the DI North quarterfinal match tied at 1-1 early in the second overtime, Carson’s Abel Sanchez snuck a 25-yard free kick inside the near post, sending everyone home end pushing the Senators into the semifinals.
“It’s a tough one because we had a lot of opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on them,” Spanish Springs coach Winston Mora said. “Sometimes it comes back to get you.”
The call that led to the free kick was argued by Spanish Springs players but Mora didn’t criticize the official’s decision to blow the whistle.
Both teams had numerous chances to prevent overtime but couldn’t hit the nylon. Carson controlled possession the final 20 minutes of regulation, putting seven shots on frame in the second half compared to the Cougars’ two.
“The defense was set up for that. We wanted to hold them and get them frustrated then attack,” Mora said.
As a whole, Carson finished with 22 shots (13 on frame). Spanish Springs fired 12 shots (seven on frame).
Guillermo Perez-Morris spotted the Senators a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute after Spanish Springs failed to clear a ball in the box.
Daniel Vazquez knotted the match five minutes later when a free kick from 56 yards out deflected into the goal box and he finished from 10 yards out.
Court Diesner actually gave the Cougars the lead in the 23rd minute but was called offside.
Carson sent two shots off the crossbar in the first 10 minutes of the match.
Spanish Springs, which finished third in the High Desert League, finished 5-7-5 in Mora’s first year at the helm.
“I think our expectation was a lot more than it came out to be for us,” Mora said. “As a coach, you learn a lot of things and make adjustments here and there and get ready for next year.”
Carson, the No. 2 seed in the Sierra League, improved to 13-3-1 on the season and will play HDL champ, North Valleys, in Saturday’s DI North semifinal at North Valleys. First touch is at 2 p.m.