Truckee boys treat fans to sparkling display of soccer
A talented Sparks High boys soccer team had its hands full and then some against host Truckee on Tuesday.
Remaining true to form, the Wolverines produced yet another shutout, winning 5-0 in a dominating performance over their Northern 3A Tahoe League opponent.
“I felt pretty good about how we came out with good intensity and played good two-touch soccer,” said Tom Arnstein, Truckee’s head coach. “And when we brought in the subs, the speed of the game didn’t change, so that was good to see.”
The shutout marked the Wolverines’ 10th of the season and improved their record to 14-1 overall and 8-1 in the Northern 3A. Truckee has allowed just six goals in those 14 wins.
The one scuff on Truckee’s record came against defending state champion North Tahoe on Sept. 11, when the Lakers blanked the Wolverines 6-0 to hand them their only loss.
With the next Truckee-North Tahoe showdown set for Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Wolverines feel they’re better prepared for Round 2.
“I’ve seen improvement, basically with the speed of play,” Arnstein said. “They’re getting faster and playing smart, team-oriented soccer. We hope to keep that up.”
Al Virrey, a senior who notched two first-half goals against Sparks, agreed.
“We have improved,” Virrey said. “Our passes are better ” more connections.”
That certainly was the case on Tuesday, as Truckee unselfishly spread the field with precision passing, hustle and constant communication, not to mention superior ball-handing skills and ever-present awareness.
Truckee’s gang of defensive stoppers ” Abel Islas, Eric Pratt, A.J. DelForge, Jeffrey Worcester, Raul Cardenas and others ” made for few save opportunities for senior keeper Ryan Newland, who aggressively defended his goal on the rare occasion that the ball got uncomfortably close.
“Our defense is stepping it up, and we’re finally starting to get the ball out wide, which opens up the middle to score,” said junior forward Max Brixey, who contributed a goal in the winning effort.
Virrey initiated the scoring in the eighth minute when he buried a textbook bicycle kick into the back of the net on a well-placed Sal Tejeda assist from inside the 8-yard box.
Seven minutes later, Emmanuel “Morro” Sarabia lofted a corner kick into a cluster of players. Waiting in perfect position, Brixey rose above the pack and headed the ball past the Sparks keeper to put his team on top 2-0.
Truckee posted its third goal of the half in the 32nd minute when Brixey delivered a free kick into the box from about 30 yards out. Several Wolverines got off shots that were deflected by the Sparks keeper, who was overmatched by the barrage. On about the third ricochet, Virrey blasted a shot into the net to give the Wolverines a 3-0 lead.
While the Railroaders created more scoring opportunities for their strikers in the second half, Truckee’s defense denied every threat, with Islas and freshman Cardenas ” nicknamed “Mini Morro,” Brixey said, “because he plays just like him.” ” frustrating the Sparks attack.
Sarabia ” the original “Morro” ” extended Truckee’s lead to 4-0 in the third minute of the second half when he lofted what appeared to be a cross to a streaking teammate. Instead of connecting for an assist, the ball sailed over the keeper’s head and into the corner of the net.
Senior Joey Eberhardt, Truckee’s team captain along with Brixey and Sarabia, scored the game’s final goal in the 65th minute when he sprinted to beat the sliding keeper to the ball, then took his time once past the last line of defense and tapped the ball into the side netting.
The Wolverines play at Yerington on Friday at 2 p.m. and host North Tahoe on Tuesday at the same time.
The North Tahoe High boys and girls soccer teams were scheduled to play at Spring Creek this past Saturday. The boys also were scheduled to host Reno on Monday.
Results were not available at press time.
Both teams will square off against league rival Truckee on Oct. 16 at RiverView Sports Park. The boys kick off at 2 p.m. and the girls at 4.
Look for full coverage of those games in the Sierra Sun on Oct. 18.
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