Truckee soccer fall preview: Rebuild or remain? | SierraSun.com

Truckee soccer fall preview: Rebuild or remain?

Paul Raymore
Sierra Sun

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra SunSenior goalie Clayton Bena pulls down a shot on goal in a recent practice at Truckee High School.

After losing nine seniors to graduation last year and with only five returning players, boys soccer head coach Rob Curtis thinks that 2004 will likely be a “rebuilding year” for the squad.

But unproven doesn’t necessarily translate to futility.

“Last year we certainly had many more senior players, so we we’re an older team,” Curtis said of a Wolverines squad that lost 2-0 to North Tahoe in the first round of the 3A state championship tournament at North Valleys High in Reno. “But you never know what is going to arrive with these younger players, so what may seem like a rebuilding year could be the best year we’ve ever had.

“I’ve got some very talented younger players coming in, and the seniors who I do have, though few in numbers, are really excellent players and more than that, they’re great leaders.”

That leadership will be called upon from the beginning as the boys travel to Reno this weekend for the Galena Tournament at South Valleys Regional Sports Complex in Reno that includes many of Northern Nevada’s 4A teams (Truckee’s request to move to 4A in soccer only was rejected by the NIAA in late December).

Last year the Wolverines won the tournament, but defending their title will require that the veterans and new additions to the team quickly find the kind of team chemistry that led them to the semi-finals of the state tournament last year.

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“I think we’re good right now, but I think we could get a lot better by mid-season or even the end of the year,” said Ruben Martinez, a senior defender whom coach Curtis lists as one of the key players on this year’s squad. “Right now we’re just looking for chemistry with each other because it’s a younger team, but I think we should do pretty good by the end of the year.”

After last year’s Northern 3A league title and another viable run to its first state championship title since 2001, Curtis knows that expectations for this year’s team will be high.

“One of the biggest struggles you have is when your goals and your expectations are almost the same thing,” he said. “It’s hard to feel like you achieved anything. So you have to really take each game as it comes and focus on what it is exactly you’re trying to do.”

Kyle Adams, a senior defender and another of the team leaders that Curtis will be relying upon this season, agreed with his coach, but noted that there are definitely a few games this year that the team will have no problem getting excited about ” specifically those against Incline and North Tahoe.

“Last season went really well,” Adams said. “We came on strong at the end and took first in the league. It was a tough season as far as the playoffs went. We felt we should have beat North Tahoe in the semi-finals, but a few unlucky plays kept us out of the finals.

“This year we have a lot of younger guys coming up that are really going to help out the team,” he continued. “I’d say this team will be as strong as last year’s team, and we’re looking to go back to state and win it this year.”

Games to watch along way include upcoming matches against Spring Creek (Sept. 4), a team Truckee beat last year but that is willing to make the six-hour drive to Truckee for a shot at revenge, and North Tahoe, the perennial rival that ended Truckee’s hopes for a state title last season.

In these early-season contests, Curtis will look to his core of veterans ” Martinez and Adams, junior forward Scott Eberhardt, senior midfielder Ramiro Aguilar and senior goalkeeper Clayton Bena ” to lead the way and help integrate the new players into the team’s winning tradition. Also returning will be sophomore Jeremy Adams, who played on the varsity squad as a freshman last year.

An off-season reorganization of the conference has left Truckee in a more competitive 3A division this year, which should make the 18 to 21 game season more exciting, Curtis said, and worth coming out to watch.

[The Truckee boys soccer teams starts their season this weekend with a tournament in Reno. In their first game this afternoon, Truckee will take on Manogue at 5:30 p.m. Saturday the games begin at 8 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m. if the Wolverines make it to the championship game. All games will be played at the South Valleys Regional Sports Complex located near the base of the Mt. Rose Highway at 15650 Wedge Parkway in Reno.]

2004 Truckee boys varsity soccer schedule

Date Day Opponent Site Time

Aug. 27-28 Fri./Sat. Galena Tournament Galena TBA

Sept. 2 Thurs. Yerington Truckee 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 4 Sat. Spring Creek Truckee 1 p.m.

Sept. 16 Thurs. North Tahoe North Tahoe 5 p.m.

Sept. 21 Tues. Whittell Truckee 5 p.m.

Sept. 24 Fri. Incline Truckee 5 p.m.

Sept. 25 Sat. Lowry Lowry 1 p.m.

Sept. 28 Tues. Sparks Sparks 5 p.m.

Oct. 5 Tues. Rite of Passage Truckee 4 p.m.

Oct. 7 Thurs. Whittell Whittell 4 p.m.

Oct. 12 Tues. Incline Incline 4 p.m.

Oct. 15 Fri. Lowry Truckee 4 p.m.

Oct. 19 Tues. Sparks Truckee 4 p.m.

Oct. 21 Thurs. Rite of Passage Rite of Passage 4 p.m.

Oct. 26 Tues. North Tahoe Truckee 4 p.m.

Nov. 5 Fri. Northern 3A regional playoffs

Nov. 9 Tues. 3A State Championship

After the resignation of two-year head coach Kyle Adams just over a week ago, the varsity girls soccer team can only wait to see who will fill the vacancy. Right now, both the junior varsity, which also lost its coach, and varsity are practicing under interim coach and boys soccer head coach Rob Curtis.

With their weekend tournament games at Galena canceled, the varsity girls hope to open their season on Sept. 4 versus Spring Creek under new leadership.

“We’re trying to get to know each other as players right now, so (having a new coach) won’t be as hard as a transition for us,” said senior and returning starter Jessie Kautz.

With the combination of the coaching issue and the loss of many valuable senior leaders, it could be one of the more challenging years Truckee has faced.

Truckee lost seven seniors, five of whom started. The biggest loss may be goalie Emily Griesmer.

“The other goalies are really young, and we’re hoping they can step it up,” Kautz said. Maisha Goodpaster was a leading goal-scorer for the squad as well.

Truckee could possibly have as few as two seniors this year, but Kautz and other returning starter and junior Jenna Lowrance still cite experience as Truckee’s strength.

“We have a lot of players that have been on the team for three years now,” Kautz said, “and how we played with our club teams (in the offseason). Hopefully that will bring us together and give us a shot at state.”

For the last eight years, either North Tahoe or Truckee has won the 3A girls soccer state championship ” Truckee has five 3A titles and North Tahoe three. After trading trophies with North Tahoe for so many years, Lowrance and Kautz expect Incline to challenge that streak again in 2004.

“They didn’t lose any players really,” Kautz said, “and we had a hard time beating them last year. They’re just quick.”

Lowrance added, “their strength is their midfield and their offense. Their attackers are good, and they’re well-conditioned.”

Truckee beat Incline 2-1 to advance to the state championship game last year against North Tahoe, a 6-5 loss. As far as the perennial rivalry North Tahoe, the girls said they also lost a near equal amount of senior starters as Truckee.

Kautz and Lowrance, speaking for the Truckee varsity team, also added that they appreciate all the hard work former coach Adams put into the program.

2004 Truckee girls varsity soccer schedule

Date Day Opponent Site Time

Sept. 4 Sat. Spring Creek Truckee 11 a.m.

Sept. 16 Thurs. North Tahoe North Tahoe 3 p.m.

Sept. 21 Tues. Whittell Truckee 3 p.m.

Sept. 24 Fri. Incline Truckee 3 p.m.

Sept. 25 Sat. Lowry Lowry 11 a.m.

Sept. 28 Tues. Sparks Sparks 3 p.m.

Oct. 7 Thurs. Whittell Whittell 2 p.m.

Oct. 12 Tues. Incline Incline 2 p.m.

Oct. 15 Fri. Lowry Truckee 2 p.m.

Oct. 19 Tues. Sparks Truckee 2 p.m.

Oct. 26 Tues. North Tahoe Truckee 2 p.m.

Nov. 5 Fri. Northern 3A regional playoffs

Nov. 9 Tues. 3A State Championship