Incline at North Tahoe soccer | Boys play to 2-2 draw | SierraSun.com

Incline at North Tahoe soccer | Boys play to 2-2 draw

Staff report

North Tahoe's Chase Whitney and Incline's Devyn Mason-Sutton battle in their teams' first meeting this season. The rivals played to a 2-2 tie on Tuesday.

Division III soccer would be a lot less interesting without rivals Incline and North Tahoe.

After playing a pair of back-and-forth barnburners in their first meetings, the Incline and North Tahoe soccer teams again put on a show with a couple of close games at North Tahoe on Tuesday. The boys played to a 2-2 tie, while the Incline girls followed with a 2-0 win.

In the boys game, the Highlanders jumped out to an early lead with a goal by Sal Vargas in the opening minutes. North Tahoe senior Chase Whitney knotted the score later in the first half before junior Omar Cerda gave the Lakers a 2-1 lead just before the midway point.

Incline's Rey Estrada tied the score again with about six minutes remaining in the contest to help the Highlanders avoid their first league loss.

"It was a very intense, physical game," said North Tahoe coach Beto Alcaraz. "Incredible pace and rhythm of play, back and forth."

Amid the intensity of the game, Alcaraz said, four yellow cards were issued, all against the Highlanders.

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"We spoke during the week about not letting the Incline players get into our heads and our boys kept their composure," he said. "I am very proud of them for playing hard, physical, but clean and great soccer."

The Highlanders, who secured the top playoff seed, ended the regular season at 9-0-1 in league. The Lakers, at 8-1-1, will enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed.

In the girls game, Incline junior Vanessa Andrade put the Highlanders on the board with a goal in the opening 30 seconds. Andrade then extended the lead to 2-0 with a goal assisted by Kimberly May in the 25th minute.

With a 12-2 league record, the Incline girls will enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed, while North Tahoe, at 9-4, will compete as the No. 3 seed. Whittell's girls, who are undefeated in league, are the top seed.

Regionals/state

Because there is no Southern Division III this year, the Northern Division III regional tournament will double as the state championship.

The tourney is scheduled for Nov. 7-8 at Whittell High School.

The North Tahoe boys open with a semifinal game against third-seeded West Wendover (5-5) on Nov. 7 at noon, while the Incline boys open against fourth-seeded Yerington (5-5) on Nov. 7 at 4 p.m.

The North Tahoe and Incline girls, meanwhile, square off in the semifinal round on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.

Winners from the semifinals advance to the state championship games on Nov. 8, girls at noon and boys at 2 p.m.

Go to http://www.niaa.com for a tournament bracket.