Late Incline goal leads to tie with Truckee

Senior Aaron Gutierrez (left) celebrates after scoring a goal against Incline.
Justin Scacco /

INCLINE, Nev. — Last year’s Class 2A state champion Incline boys’ soccer team opened league play in Class 3A at home Monday and were able force a 1-1 tie against Truckee behind a late goal from team captain Alexis Soto.

The Highlanders had to move up into Class 3A this season after the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association shuttered Class 2A for boys and girls’ soccer.

On Monday, Incline showed they could hang with the larger schools that play in Class 3A, scoring on Soto’s goal with 12 minutes left, and then hanging on for the tie.

“I think we can do better said Head Coach Pedro Salazar. “It’s still early in the season. Our depth is not as good as it was last year, but there’s no reason why we can’t compete at a higher level. It’s just the intensity, we have to bring it up in practice and that’s going to lead to results in the games. But it’s fun to be out here in the 3A competing against bigger schools like Truckee.”

The two teams battled through a scoreless, physical first half of play, but Truckee broke through 11 minutes into the second half when senior Aaron Gutierrez scored off a pass from senior Gael Mendez.

Later in the half, Soto, a sophomore and last year’s Class 2A MVP, would get free in and sneak a ball past Truckee’s diving goalkeeper for the tying goal in the 68th minute.

“He’s one of our captains,” said Salazar. “He also leads by example and is a class player out there.”

Salazar said Incline has been playing without three starters that are still ineligible to play after transferring to the high school.

The team also had to move junior center back Jesus Aguirre to goalkeeper. Aguirre made several diving saves to keep Incline in the game against Truckee.

“He’s been performing at a high level for us,” said Salazar. “Without him back there, I think we’d have lost this match.”

Truckee was able to control much of the game, but couldn’t put another shot past the Incline defense.

“Our league is a tight league and if we let teams hang on they’re going to put one or two away,” said Truckee Head Coach Ignacio Diaz. “We didn’t put ours away, and they got their late goal. Props to Incline for being solid and working the entire 80 minutes. We’ve just got to work a little more on our finishing … We have a young team and this is a good lesson for them. I told them this could be a turning point. Whether it’s positive or negative, that’s on them.”

Truckee (1-4-2, 1-1-1 Northern West League) will travel to play South Tahoe (4-1, 1-0 Northern West League) on Friday at 5 p.m.

Lakers score 12 goals in win against Quincy

North Tahoe also played Monday, traveling to Quincy for a non-league matchup.

The Lakers earned their first victory of the season in dominant fashion, topping the Trojans 12-0.

Sophomore Seth Hendricks scored three goals to lead the team. Sophomore Jackson Zachary scored twice and assisted on another goal. Senior Eric Hudson also scored two goals. Juniors Sven Halverson and Noah Glickman both added a goal. Seniors Jack Buchanan and Sammy Jacob both scored a goal and assisted on another. Junior Gonzalo Barajas-Elorza scored a goal and had two assists. Junior Santi Quezada also had two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Bridger Berry picked up the shutout win.

North Tahoe (1-3) will open play in the Class 3A Northern League on Friday at Sage Ridge (1-0, 1-0 Northern West League). The game marks the team’s first league contest in Class 3A after the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association disbanded Class 2A boys and girls’ soccer.

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