Truckee soccer | Boys allow three unanswered goals in regional championship loss
November 6, 2010
FALLON, Nev. and#8212; Sparks soccer coach Frank Avila isn’t psyhic or a mindreader, he just knows his players.
After a furious rally to tie the score 2-2 against Truckee in the 3A NIAA Northern Region boys’ soccer title game, Avila told Erik Ojeda-Ayala he would score the winning goal.
Ojeda-Ayala did what he was told with about 2 minutes in the game as the Railroaders knocked off the Wolverines, 3-2, to capture the regional championship and the No. 1 seed for the state tournament. It was the Railroaders’ second straight win over Truckee.
and#8220;The one thing that’s constant is you know kids,and#8221; Avila said. and#8220;He’s (Ojeda-Ayala) a gamer. You tap one your best and he’s one of the best.and#8221;
Minutes before the game-winning goal, Ojeda-Ayala was given a yellow card and was removed from the game. Avila then held his team’s leader and told him to relax, focus and of course, score the game winner.
Sparks’ chances looked bleak after Truckee held a 1-0 halftime lead, and a 2-0 lead with about 20 minutes left in the match. The Wolverines’ Michael Brixey found Bryan Reed, who slammed home the game’s first goal minutes into the game.
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Truckee pressured Sparks throughout the half and controlled the tempo of the game. Michael Reynaud then sent a pass to Jonathan Zarate, whose shot found the arms of Sparks goalkeeper Javier Torres. The Wolverines almost had another goal when Brixey hit Easel Grass, who passed to Jesse Fereira, but again, Torres made a sliding tackle to save a goal.
and#8220;We started off really well with high energy,and#8221; Truckee coach Hernan Valdivia said. and#8220;Sparks did an increbile job of not giving up. We were decimated by injuries and they took advantage of that.and#8221;
Truckee struck pay dirt about midway through the second half when Reed McMullen sent a through ball to Brixey. Torres came out and challenged Brixey, but the ball popped loose and Brixey put away the Wolverines’ second goal for a 2-0 lead.
Then Sparks found its groove.
Juan Davalos cut the lead to 2-1 and Hector Hernandez tied the game with 9 minutes left. Minutes later Hernandez found Ojeda-Ayala, who faked a shot, moved past a Truckee defender and buried the shot in the left side of the net.
and#8220;I was kind of frustrated and he (Avila) calmed me down,and#8221; Ojeda-Ayala said. and#8220;I faked the shot … and I moved to the right and it went it.and#8221;
Sparks will be the No. 1 seed and will face No. 2 Truckee in Friday’s state semifinal in Mesquite. In the third-place match, South Tahoe defeated Elko, 6-2, and will play Boulder City to start the state tournament.
Truckee’s girls lost 4-0 to South Tahoe and will enter the state tournament as the North’s No. 2 seed.
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