Carrion nets two goals in San Luis' 2-1 win over Cibola
San Luis senior defender Antonio Carrion spends most of his time keeping the Sidewinder net clear of goals. Thursday, however, he had a different assignment.
Carrion had two goals in San Luis' 2-1 win over Cibola. Both came on headers, one from a free kick and the other from a throw in.
Carrion towers over most of the other players on the field. With Carrion being the only 6-footer on the team, head coach Ian McDougall has new plans for him this season.
“This year we thought, he's the tallest guy on the team,” McDougall said. “We have to get this guy up on the field. Any dead ball, anytime there's a free kick, any corner kick or deep throw we're going to get him in the box.”
McDougall's seen him pound headers into the net in practice, and the strategy paid off Thursday.
Both Carrion's goals came in the second half after they were down 1-0. After San Luis dominated the possession game for most of the first half, Cibola's Enrique Urenda got the Raiders the lead in the 38th minute.
“I think they played a fantastic game,” said Cibola coach Mike Fritz. “I thought we controlled the ball, created lots of opportunities. I think they gave a wonderful effort.”
Despite handling the ball most of the first half, San Luis had very few opportunities to score.
“I totally attribute that to Cibola playing tight in the back,” McDougall said. “We understand that we're probably not going to get 40 shots a game. We're probably going to get eight to 10 and they're going to be quality and I trust my defense is going to not give up very many goals this year. We gave up five goals in region last year. I kind of think it's going to be the same.”
Anchoring that defense is goal keeper Jorge Gutierrez, who had two clutch saves to seal the Sidewinders win.
In the 68th minute, Cibola broke away down the left side of the field. Gutierrez was one on one with the Raider forward and dived to his right to stop the equalizer.
Then again with two minutes left in the game, Gutierrez found himself in another one-on-one situation. Gutierrez stood tall and took a direct body shot to save game.
“None of what Toni does matters if our goal keeper doesn't make two huge saves in the second half,” McDougall said. “Those were crazy good chances. The fact they didn't bury at least one of them kind of amazed me. That's all down to our goal keeper. He really stepped up.”