Truckee girls soccer wins by a goal
Tuesday nights Northern 3A Region Girls Soccer Championship game pitted Truckee against North Tahoe in a match-up under the lights of Damonte Ranch High School in Reno. The stark glow of the spotlights were fitting for a game that came down to one highlight a spectacular game-winning Truckee goal in the last minute.From the opening kickoff it was readily apparent that the unique playing qualities of the wider-than-normal turf field would be challenging for the players. Though both teams had practiced on the turf in previous days, the unusually fast ball speeds on the slick surface made controlled passing difficult. No one enjoyed falling on the turf, either.Astroturf hurts! said Truckee captain Katie Dill. And it makes for a fast game. Quicker touches.Truckee created several first-half scoring opportunities, but every shot was smothered by North Tahoe goalkeeper Kea Jolicoeur, who had another standout performance.The Lakers couldnt get much going offensively in the first half, but their tenacious defense carried the game into halftime tied at zero apiece.The second half started just as the first half ended a battle for midfield control. The Wolverines continued to pressure the North Tahoe net, but their attacks came in spurts as they struggled to keep ball control long enough to take good shots. The Lakers offense also attacked sporadically, and a few mid-half scoring opportunities got the crowd stomping.With two minutes left in the match, the field clock stopped ticking. Only the head referee knew what time remained. But the game went on, and with approximately 80 seconds left in regulation, Dill collected a pass from teammate Stephanie ONeil, turned, dribbled just into the box, and fired a low, hard shot straight to the back corner of the North Tahoe goal. The game that seemed destined for overtime play had been stopped in its tracks.Seconds after the ensuing Laker kickoff, the final whistle blew, and the game ended in a triumphant 1-0 win for Truckee. Dill was ecstatic.Nothing can describe the feeling of scoring tonight, she said. We just knew we had to do it.Despite the heart-wrenching loss, North Tahoe coach Hans Paladini was proud of his teams performance.Defensively and overall it was a good game for us, the coach said. We didnt play our best offensively and didnt concentrate for 80 minutes. That cost us the game.Truckee head coach Nikki Gerardi was thrilled with her teams complete effort.We played hard every minute of the game, Gerardi said. We had lots of opportunities but just couldnt finish until the 79th minute. Their defense gave us a tough game.
Truckees boys and girls teams enter the NIAA 3A State Soccer Championships as No. 1 seeds from the north, while North Tahoes boys and girls both enter as No. 2 seeds.The Truckee girls square off against Incline in the state semifinal Friday at University of Nevadas Mackay Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.In the other girls semifinal Friday, the Lakers play Faith Lutheran, the No. 1 seed from the south, at Mackay Stadium starting at noon.The two semifinal winners meet in the state championship game at Renos Damonte Ranch High School on Saturday at 10 a.m.Were excited about the state tournament, said North Tahoe girls coach Hans Paladini. I hear Faith Lutheran can play good soccer. Bring em on.On the boys side, the semifinal games will be played at Mackay Stadium on Friday, and the state championship will be played at Damonte Ranch on Saturday just like the girls bracket.The North Tahoe boys match up with Faith Lutheran, the No. 1 seed from the south, in the semifinal Friday at 2 p.m. Truckee plays Incline, the No. 3 seed from the north, in its semifinal Friday at 6 p.m. The boys state championship will be held Saturday at noon.
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