Wolverines make it back-to-back state titles
The Truckee girls’ soccer team made it back-to-back state championships on Saturday, Nov. 11, with a 2-0 win at Spanish Springs High School over rivals, South Tahoe.
The Wolverines leading goal scorer, junior Ava Seelenfreund, netted both of Truckee’s goals to cap off an undefeated run through league and postseason play.
“For half the team, they were a part of it last year … and this year, the other half that are coming in, I think it’s massive for them because they’ve seen it over the last few years — just us winning — but not actually being a part of it, and now they had to learn how to do it,” said Head Coach Kyle Kelly.
“The six or seven seniors that are leaving helped show them the way — that it’s not given to us, that you have to work for it.”
The Vikings (16-7-1, 12-3-1 Northern League) controlled the early part of the game against the Wolverines (20-4-1, 15-0-1 Northern League), but toward the midway point of the half Truckee began turning the tide. Then in the 29th minute, Seelenfreund received a pass deep in South Tahoe territory, and then beat two defenders with some nifty footwork, before putting a shot past South Tahoe’s keeper for a 1-0 lead.
The score remained the same until just over midway through the second half when senior captain Olivia Vigano lifted a corner kick from the right side of the field. Seelenfreund charged in and perfectly timed a header that bounced off the grass and past the Vikings goalie for a 2-0 lead.
The Wolverines leading scorer seemed to press at times the day before against Pahrump in the semifinals, but against South Tahoe, Seelenfreund allowed the game to come to her, picking the right time to strike.
“Just being patient, waiting for the opportunities to come and when they did I finished them,” she said.
Seelenfreund would nearly score twice more in the final minutes of the game, each time tapping the ball ahead, and then using her speed to burst past the defense for a good look at goal.
Truckee’s defense kept South Tahoe at bay over the remaining minutes to seal the 2-0 win and back-to-back state championships
“Keeping the shutout is massive for us and our center backs are a massive part of that,” Kelly said on the team’s defensive effort. “There’s not a lot of people that can beat them in a one-on-one situation, let alone in a foot race if we get beat on a through ball.”
That defensive effort made for a pretty uneventful two state playoff outings for senior keeper Izzy Abarno, who was beat just once during the four-team state tournament.
“It’s really awesome. We worked really hard all season for this win,” said Abarno. “Just being undefeated and working so hard at practice, it’s really rewarding to get this win — especially against South Tahoe. I’m really glad I got to end on a good note.”
The state championship caps off a sensational run by the Wolverines that saw the team go 19-0-1 since a loss to Class 4A Faith Lutheran on Aug. 26.