Rival girls soccer game ends in controversy
Most of the time, athletics are simple. Two teams meet, they battle and one walks away a winner. But every once in a while things get complicated.
Such was the case in Tuesday’s rival girls soccer game on Dollar Hill, when North Tahoe and Truckee met for the first time this season and tied 3-3.
Despite good performances by both sides and a quality rival match ” including physical play, good goals and a closely played contest ” the game ended under a shroud of controversy stemming from a bizarre decision by the official.
With minutes to play in the tied game and emotions running high, Truckee junior Katie Dill collected a ball and dribbled through North Tahoe’s defending back line, creating a breakaway situation.
The linesman raised his flag as Dill was approaching the goal because of another Wolverine attacker’s offside position when Dill got the ball. As the junior captain was finishing the ball, the center official blew his whistle for the offside call.
Whether or not it was the right call, that whistle should have been the end of the story.
It wasn’t. The center referee conferred with the linesman and then ruled the goal to stand, putting Truckee up by one with just minutes left to play.
Senior North Tahoe captain Chelsea Patrick was not satisfied and argued her case with the ref, who then reversed his call again and disallowed the goal, leaving the score at 3-3 and casting doubt from both sides over the outcome.
Despite the poor call, the game was one both coaches were happy about.
“Overall, I’m happy with the effort they gave,” North Tahoe head coach Hanz Paladini said.
It was a sentiment echoed by Truckee coach Nikki Gerardi.
“They played really great,” Gerardi said. “They played their hearts out.”
While it was the Wolverines who appeared to have the run of play most of the game, North Tahoe’s back line was like a wall during the first half, with key tackles by Kacie Conn and key saves by Kea Jolicoeur to keep Truckee at bay.
And keeping the Wolverines at bay was all the opportunity the Laker attack needed. Toward the close of the half, Kelly Altick got her head on a corner kick to put North Tahoe up by 1.
Minutes later, Michelle Zarick collected the ball on a poor clearance from Truckee goalkeeper Michelle Plapp and made good on the opportunity, leaving North Tahoe up 2-0 at the halftime whistle.
Five minutes into the second half, Truckee made it clear that they wouldn’t go without a fight when Shannon Nicholls placed a nice shot off the inside of the post and into the back of the net.
Truckee didn’t waste a lot of time getting an equalizer, which came from sophomore Stephanie O’Neil getting her head on a corner kick to tie things up at 2.
North Tahoe’s Jenna Burnside put in the goal of the game when she collected a free kick at the top of the 18 and ripped a shot into the upper corner to take the lead back for North Tahoe.
It was a lead not meant to stand, however, as Dill scored off of a free kick from Kelsi Decker to tie things back up with 18 minutes to play.
As the clock ticked down, Truckee amplified its play. The Wolverines had North Tahoe penned in, even cracking a shot off the post with minutes to play.
Then came Dill’s breakaway and the officials’ chaotic indecision to close out the match, leaving the result a controversy and fans forced to wait until the two squads meet again at Truckee’s Surprise Stadium on Oct. 16.
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