Almost perfect: Boys’ soccer finishes 23-1
On par with the girls’ soccer team on Nov. 10, the Wolverines boys’ team ripped through its opponent in semifinal play with a 4-0 victory over Manogue.
Senior Jarrett Bower netted the first Truckee goal in the 15th minute of play, off a pass from Elias Silver to start the game. Following this lead, Brian Lowrence delivered the ball through the Miners’ defense with the assistance of Silver, to bring the tally to 2-0.
Before the close of the first half, Silver ensured the win, connecting with a deflected goal kick to put the Miners down 3-0. The two teams left the field at the half with three goals separating them, yet the Miners never resurfaced. Matt Valle scored the final goal of the game for Truckee, off a throw-in from Silver. But the victory did not come without a cost: With two yellow cards after 90 minutes of play, Gabe Gannam was benched for Saturday’s championship game.
A win over Pahrump on Friday propelled North Tahoe into the final match against the Wolverines. After losing to the Truckee team three times this season, the odds were stacked against the Lakers. Apparently, the fourth time was a charm for the fighting North Tahoe team as the Lakers handed Truckee its first loss of the season in taking the state title, 3-1.
The Wolverines played a strong match throughout all 90 minutes of play, yet were missing Gannam and Oye Ulvaer. In addition, junior Jeff Ebner, a notable force on the Wolverine team, was hampered by injuries. To compound the troubles of the Wolverine bench, leading scorer and key component to the TNT offense, Elias Silver, received his second yellow card and was benched just minutes into the second half of play.
After the first half of play, the Wolverines were down 1-0 after North Tahoe’s Mario Cervantes, normally a midfielder, scored from the striker spot. For a full, healthy Truckee team, this would not be a huge differential to overcome. However, the deflated TNT team was unable to even the score before Cervantes added another goal, in the 54th minute, to pull two ahead of the Wolverines. Scoring the team’s lone goal in the 65th minute was Matt Valle, putting the last ball of the season into the Lakers net. Galen Wolford, off an assist from his brother, senior Will Wolford, scored the final goal of the game shortly after Valle’s tally.
Despite these struggles, coach Rob Curtis explained, “They were a much hungrier team.” After losing three times to Truckee, “North Tahoe simply wanted to win more.” Playing a very hard offensive game, the Lakers appeared determined from the outset, and walked away with a 3-1 victory, and more importantly, the state championship. No other team successfully scored three goals against the Wolverines all season.
With the close of the season, Curtis will be losing nine seniors, all integral players for the Wolverine team. With an experienced, skilled young team remaining, Curtis is assured that next year’s team will be equally as competitive. While disappointed with the loss, Curtis assessed the season overall as “very good,” as a record of 23-1 is no small feat.
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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.