Boulder blockade stops Truckee streak
The Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines’ girls’ soccer team suffered its first playoff game loss since the NIAA/U.S. Bank Nevada State Soccer Tournament was initiated in 1996.
At Spring Creek on Friday, the Wolverines lost in the semi-finals to the Boulder City Eagles 1-0 and were eliminated from playoff contention.
“The loss was really disappointing for everyone – particularly since we outplayed the opponent. What ultimately counts, though is the goals,” Truckee Head Coach Larry Young said. “It adds to the frustration – if you’re out played and lose, then you know the other team deserved it. When you have a competition between two teams someone wins and someone loses. We didn’t take this game for granted, we were just unlucky.”
The only score of the game was made by the Eagles’ Nicole Coppola during the 19th minute on a fast break down the left flank. Although a Truckee defender was shoulder-to-shoulder with the Eagle forward, Coppola was able to kick a left-footed chip shot that sailed about 20 yards and over the Wolverine goalkeeper, into the right corner of the goal.
“Not to belittle her skill,” Young said, “but if you can say that we were unlucky, you can say that she was lucky.”
Despite 16 shots on goal in the first half and another seven in the second half, the Wolverines were unable to get the ball by the Eagles’ senior goalkeeper, Chantel Reyna. Reyna had seven saves and was described by Young as being one of the best keepers in state.
Truckee dominated play and maintained possession of the ball throughout the game. The diversity of the Wolverines’ attack was evidenced by 10 Wolverine players having shots at the goal. Boulder City, as a team, had five shots on goal.
“I think [Truckee] played its best game of the year,” Young said. “I was really pleased with how the girls played, we were just unlucky. We had many opportunities to score and we were either off target or [Boulder City’s] goalkeeper made the necessary save. The ball was just not rolling our way.”
Young commended the play of sweeper Lindsay Manetta, marking backs Jill Marchi, Katie Mickelson, and Lisa Kucera, stopper Kristin Seitz and midfielder Cali Pratt for their exceptional play in the game.
The Wolverines ended their season with a record of 13-3-2 and were Division I champions with a 7-1 division record.
Becca Shook was named as the Division I MVP and seven other Truckee players were named to the first and second Division I teams. Seitz, a senior, was named to the first team along with Marchi and Kristine Bena.
Manetta, Cali and Natalie Pratt and Megan Minnick were named to the second team.
“The seniors have high expectations of going out winners so its particularly disappointing,” Young said. “The other players have next year. [The seniors] are disappointed, but, in perspective, they should be proud of their accomplishments.”
“Next year’s team should have high expectations of bringing home the state championship next year,” Young said. “Its very feasible. The outlooks for next season are very bright, but we need to realize that the level of play is rising and Truckee needs to continue working to keep ahead.”
North Tahoe claims title
In the other semi-final match, the North Tahoe Lakers defeated the Incline High School Highlanders, 3-1, and advanced to the championship game against Boulder City.
On Saturday, the Lakers defeated the Highlanders, 2-1. Reyna again kept her team in the game with excellent play, thwarting many attempts by the dominant Tahoe team. The score was tied 1-1 at halftime. North Tahoe was able to break the tie in the second half on a penalty kick resulting from a pushing foul called on the Eagles.
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The Truckee boys’ soccer team shutout its third straight opponent on Saturday, taking a 5-0 win at home against Dayton.