Both North Tahoe soccer teams dropped their first league games of the year against visiting Whittell on Tuesday.
The girls fell 3-0 to a talented and aggressive Warriors team, while the boys lost 3-2 despite having 11 players to the Warriors’ 10 for the final 30 minutes of the contest.
“We struggled with injuries and the faster pace of the game as compared to some of the other teams in our league,” said first-year North Tahoe girls coach Kristin Carlson, whose team had defeated its first four Northern Division III opponents — Pershing County, Battle Mountain, White Pine and West Wendover — by a collective score of 34-0.
“The girls definitely did not play their best soccer. We will continue to work hard at practice to prepare for Truckee and Incline, who will be tough opponents.”
The Laker girls are now 4-1 in league and overall.
In the boys game, the Lakers had a golden opportunity to put away their rivals from Zephyr Cove after one of the Warriors’ top players left the game with a red card with 30 minutes remaining.
Whittell took a 2-1 lead in the 50th minute before it went down a player. The Lakers took advantage of the numbers a few minutes later, tying the score for the second time in the game.
But the Warriors’ 10 still had some fight. With 10 minutes left in the game, Whittell defender Spencer Buchholz scored the go-ahead goal, and the visitors held on for the close win.
Whittell took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Bryce Bronken took a shot on goal that was deflected and cleaned up by Mark Waite on the rebound. The Lakers answered with a goal before halftime to tie the score.
The Warriors regained their edge 10 minutes into the second half on a goal by Bronken. North Tahoe’s goal scorers were not available.
North Tahoe, which fell to 4-5-1 overall and 2-1-1 in league, plays at Yerington on Friday and hosts Truckee on Monday, girls at 4 p.m., boys at 6.