A win and a tie for Wolverine soccer in bitter rivalry
A charged atmosphere greeted the new illuminated field at North Tahoe High School on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
Wolverine and Lakers soccer fans packed the stands and hovered on the sidelines for the long-awaited rematch of last year’s NIAA State Championships.
Emotions were running high on the benches from the first whistle and were evident on the field as the teams played a guarded, quick game throughout the first half.
Several drives down the field and shots on goal proved fruitless for both teams, and the game remained scoreless at the half.
Nine minutes into the second half of play, Wolverine Miguel Taffola passed the ball through to Jeff Ebner for a quick goal into the upper left-hand corner of the Laker net from 12 yards out.
“Things began to loosen up at that point as we started playing our game,” said Wolverine Coach Rob Curtis.
Eight minutes later, a pass from Jarrad Gifford to Antuan Cannon resulted in another shot on goal for the Wolverines. Laker goalie Justin Athley saved the goal, yet gave Cannon another window on the rebound. A swift header put goal number two in the net for Truckee, collecting cheers from the outnumbered visiting crowd.
Laker star Mario Cervantes answered the Wolverine rally, slipping the ball past TNT goalie Cody Prouty to put North Tahoe back in the game with 20 minutes left to play.
“The game tightened then,” said Curtis, though leading scorer Cervantes was maimed all game by an omnipresent Wolverine defense.
A corner kick by Matt Schulz to sophomore Timmy McDonald at minute 25 secured goal number three for the Wolverines, much to the disdain of the rancorous home crowd. Three key saves in goal by Cody Prouty in a performance Coach Curtis dubbed “the best game of his high school career” locked in the win for Truckee, thwarting last-minute efforts by the Lakers.
“It was a good thing we lost now rather than later,” said Laker Head Coach Burt Alcaraz. “I told the guys after the game that we are not invincible.”
The 3-1 win ended the Lakers’ undefeated streak, a distinction that the Wolverines now share solely with Incline High School.
Following their win against North Tahoe, the Wolverines traveled to Rite of Passage on Friday for an easy 10-0 win. Many of the starters for Truckee rested after Wednesday’s tough game, and the reserves seized the opportunity for increased playing time.
Casey Eberhardt, Danny Rostad and Tim Jitloff each collected two goals apiece in a shooting spree against the Rams, while Kyle Flynn, Kyle Anderson, Antuan Cannon and Matt Scholz scored one each.
This win brings the Wolverines’ record to 10-0 heading into their game at home against Incline this Friday at 5 p.m.
Arch rivals North Tahoe and Truckee took to the soccer field last Wednesday evening to settle some unfinished business.
After losing the State Championship game in 2000, the Wolverine ladies’ varsity team was looking for payback. The Lakers, supported by a massive home crowd, prepared to defend their title and keep their undefeated status.
After 80 nail-biting minutes of play, the competitive neighbors resigned to call it a draw – tying 1-1.
Throughout the first half, both teams struggled to set up shots and aborted promising drives with rushed passes and turnovers.
“The first game of the year between these two teams is all about nerves, and that was clear throughout the game,” said TTHS Head Coach Mike Holman.
The Lakers hovered deep in the Wolverines’ defensive zone during the first half, applying offensive pressure with several shots on goal. In the 18th minute, Laura Spohr claimed the first goal of the day for North Tahoe, slipping the ball past Wolverine goalie Emily Griesmer after a rebounded save.
A power shift occurred in the second half of the game, as North Tahoe’s drive was deflated by the injury of leading offensive threat Addie Boyd. Boyd left the game with a broken leg, and the Wolverine offense came alive. Truckee’s back four defenders led by veteran sweeper Kelsey Fisher began to move the ball upfield, finding open midfielders and protecting Griesmer in goal.
Despite pushing hard to the Laker goal and retaining more control of the ball than in the first 40 minutes of play, the Wolverines remained scoreless at the two-minute warning.
With the pressure on, forward Kristine Bena shot past Lakers goalie Alicia Mumbert, in a goal that Holman called “textbook,” to even the score at 1-1. Both teams worked to collect the winning goal in the last minutes of play and despite an open goal scoring opportunity for the Lakers, the game ended just as it began.
Both teams remain undefeated. The Lakers and the Wolverines are still tied for first place in league standings and desperately want to claim that honor for themselves alone. They will meet up again, but this time it will be in Wolverine territory on Friday, Oct. 12.
“We will be ready,” said Holman. “Now we know how to attack against that team.”
On Monday, Truckee took on Manogue; a team with a traditionally strong program. Plagued by injuries, the Miners were unable to hold back the Wolverine offense, giving up four goals before it was all over. Wing midfielder Natalie Milligan led the TTHS offense with three assists on the day and excellent ball control.
Rachel Theis opened the scoring for Truckee in the 10th minute of the game off a rebounded shot by Milligan. In the fourth minute of the second half, Milligan kicked a long ball into the box to forward Stacy Cook who beat out the Miners defender one on one for the goal.
Milligan took the ball deep again for goal number three, setting up Jaimee Froelich for a shot into the lower left corner of Manogue’s goal.
A short pass from Kirsten Seitz to Stacy Cook nailed the Wolverines’ fourth goal and the win, delivering the Miners’ second loss this season.
Truckee’s next game is at Incline High School tomorrow at 5 p.m.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.