Laker boys eke out close win | SierraSun.com

Laker boys eke out close win

Seth Lightcap
Sierra Sun

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe senior Michele Basile unleashes a hard-earned shot during the Lakers' 2-1 win over Whittell on Tuesday. Basile played tenaciously, scoring both of North Tahoe's second-half goals.

The North Tahoe boys soccer team brought it down to the wire against Whittell on Tuesday, keeping fans waiting until three minutes left in the match to celebrate the game-winning goal by senior captain Michele Basile.

North Tahoe won 2-1 to cap a two-game sweep of Whittell this season.

From the starting whistle the game was dominated by the Lakers, but inconsistent passing and rough transitions muted their typically aggressive offense. Whittell goalkeeper Alex Potnick kept the first half scoreless, blocking several nice shots.

Five minutes into the second half, Whittell scored a shocker, knocking in a corner kick to go up 1-0. The goal was a wake-up call for the Lakers, as their step quickened dramatically once realizing they were down.

“We realized we had to step it up after they scored,” Basile said. “We were playing flat.”

After playing goalkeeper the first half, Basile hit the pitch as a forward after Whittell’s goal and scored the equalizer 15 minutes in. Hustling hard down the right flank, his off-angle shot was deflected off the Whittell goalkeeper’s hands.

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Tying up the game, North Tahoe’s offense came alive with a flurry of shots. Whittell’s goalkeeper remained solid, however, deflecting several near goals.

As the minutes ticked down the Lakers continued the onslaught of shots, growing increasingly frustrated that they couldn’t capitalize. But they didn’t give up.

With three minutes left to play, senior Gerry Bolanos fed a sweet left field cross to a rushing Basile, who half-volleyed it in from close range. Both Laker fans and players were elated as the game was looking to finish as a draw.

“We just couldn’t put it in,” said North Tahoe coach Beto Alcaraz. “There must have been 25 shots on goal and only two went in; we’re lucky to have won.”

The win improved North Tahoe’s Northern 3A Sierra League record to 4-1-2 (13-1-2 overall).

The Lakers host Incline in their senior farewell Saturday at 11 a.m.