Truckee boys soccer clinches top seed | SierraSun.com

Truckee boys soccer clinches top seed

Jen Schmidt/Sun News ServiceTruckee High senior Victor Islas battles with Incline's Daniel Chavez during the Wolverines' 4-2 win on Tuesday.

As the final whistle blew Tuesday at the Incline soccer field, many on the Incline boys soccer team hung their heads as they headed to their bench.

The mood on the other side of the field was a bit more festive.

Powered by a hat trick from junior forward Max Brixey and a defense that allowed only one shot on goal in the second half, the Truckee High boys soccer team completed a two-game sweep of the Highlanders this season, winning 4-2 on Tuesday.

After the match, Truckee coach Tom Arnstein congratulated his team.

“We just clinched first place in the division,” he shouted as he gave each of his players high-fives.

The win improved Truckee’s record to 6-1 in the Northern 3A Sierra League and 20-1 overall. Incline fell to 6-6-2 (5-6-2 division) with the loss.

Recommended Stories For You

Incline coach Tom Canino said, while it would have been nice to win, the loss didn’t affect Incline’s place in the Sierra League standings, as it remains in fourth place.

“We kind of knew we needed to get an early goal in the second half to have a chance,” he said. “I give (Truckee) credit; they played a physical game. Let’s face it, I just don’t have that big a team.”

Earlier this season, Truckee trounced the Highlanders 10-2 on Sept. 18 at Truckee. Last season, Incline split two matches with Truckee, with each team winning on its respective home field.

After Tuesday’s match, Arnstein said it felt good to take two from Incline this season.

“We knew a win or a tie here in Incline would be huge, and we got the win,” he said. “It always feels good to get the win on the road, too.”

Brixey started the scoring Tuesday in the third minute, as he broke away from the defense and lofted a soft shot past Incline goalkeeper Francisco Rodriguez.

Incline tied the match in the 18th minute, as sophomore Michael Ceragioli booted an Alex Reyes pass to the left past Truckee goalkeeper Ryan Newland.

It took four minutes for Truckee and Brixey to respond. Rodriguez saved the initial shot from a Truckee forward, but couldn’t swallow the ball. Brixey knocked in the rebound, giving Truckee a 2-1 lead in the 22nd minute.

“We knew they were going to give us a good game,” Brixey said. “It feels good to come out here and get the win, especially in a physical match like this.”

In the 32nd minute, Truckee struck again after a well-executed corner kick. Brixey crossed the ball in the box, and senior Erling Selen headed it in, giving the Wolverines a 3-1 lead. In celebration, Selen ” a foreign exchange student from Norway ” performed a front flip at the midfield line, drawing loud cheers from the Truckee crowd.

Incline gathered some momentum heading into the half, however, as senior Juan Hererra rocketed a shot from the top of the box to the left past Newland. The unassisted goal cut Truckee’s lead to 3-2 at halftime.

“That was huge, to be down 3-2 instead of 3-1 at half. It was a huge pick-me-up for us,” Canino said. “You didn’t see guys running off the field with their heads down after that.”

After Truckee threatened to score numerous times in the second half, Brixey put the match away in the 72nd minute, as his shot to the left of the goal got past a diving Rodriguez.

Herrera recorded the Highlanders’ only shot in the half in the 76th minute, but his attempt was blocked by a Truckee defender. Truckee outshot the Highlanders 10-4 on the afternoon.