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Playing a man down, Carlsbad advances

02/27/2013, 11:13pm PST
By Craig Malveaux

Midway through the first half, the Lancers were forced to change their tactics.

— Midway through the first half, Carlsbad was forced to change its tactics.

Defend instead of attack. Play conservative instead of aggressive. Any other way was far too risky in what would become a 1-0 Lancers win over Poway on Wednesday night.

“We were kind of handcuffed in terms of what we could do for basically fifty-five minutes,” said Lancers coach Jeff Riccitelli.

The reason? Officials carded senior midfielder Jared Marr in the first half for an aggressive slide-tackle on a Poway attacker. The card — his second yellow — sidelined him for the match and left Carlsbad short-handed against the Titans (12-5-7).

Top-seeded Carlsbad (24-3-1) still managed to survive, defeating Poway in the San Diego Section Division I semifinals to advance to the championship match Saturday at Mesa College.

“It allowed them to push another striker up top and provide them with more offensive options while we had to sit and account for him. It changed our dynamic,” Riccitelli said. “But we managed and I’m proud of my boys.”

Gonzalo Jimenez scored the lone goal midway through the first half. The senior forward connected on a through-ball and easily powered it past the goalkeeper.

“It was a play that my teammate and I always do,” Jimenez said. “I caught it on my left and struck it. As soon as it left my foot, I knew it would be a goal.”

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