Boys’ soccer falls short
After a tie in the early season against the Lakers, and a victory over them to win the league championship in the last league game of the season, the Truckee High School boys’ varsity soccer team fell to North Tahoe High School in the first round of the NIAA 3A State Championship at North Valleys High School in Reno on Friday night.
Both teams came out running strong in the first half. The play in the first 35 minutes of the first half reflected what Truckee’s head coach Rob Curtis said the previous week, “Both teams are well aware of what this game means. It’s the end of the season for one of us, and neither one of us cares to be that team.”
Each team played like it was their last game of the season. The game centered around small battles as both teams struggled to advance the ball.
Truckee controlled the ball for the majority of the first half, but lacked a finish.
On defense, goalie Clayton Bena had three straight saves off three corner kicks. Matt Freeman, Forrest Platt, Kyle Adams and Remy Denton played with their trademark solid defense for the entire first half.
Timmy McDonald and Chris Pearson managed to get a solid shot on goal, but North Tahoe’s goalie was able to come up with a big save on both shots.
As the first half progressed, so did the intensity of North Tahoe’s offense. But the Wolverines’ defense also stepped up their play and did a great job clearing the ball.
With less than two minutes left in the first half, Truckee’s offense began to put solid pressure on North Tahoe’s goalie. A Wolverine goal seemed to be just a shot away.
But in reality, it was a North Tahoe goal that was just a shot away. On the other side of the field, the Lakers rolled a shot from the 25 yards out through a field of fallen Wolverines and into the goal to take the lead going into the half.
In the second quarter, North Tahoe’s offense began to pressure Bena consistently. Truckee’s offense struggled to link passes and had to resort to playing long ball.
North Tahoe High School made a drive toward the goal a fired a shot toward Bena. Bena made a great diving save, but the Lakers rebounded the shot and scored despite Denton’s best efforts to fill in for the fallen Bena.
Falling behind 2-0 seemed to be just what the Wolverines needed to get back into the game. Truckee instantly looked like a new team as their offense began to pass and drive the ball toward the goal.
The momentum, however, was short lived. Senior Danny Rostad earned a red card and was forced to leave the game, leaving the Wolverines down one player.
The Wolverines tried to mount a comeback, but there was nether the time or the energy left in the game.
With less than two minutes left to play, Scott Eberhardt made a dash for the goal before colliding at full speed with two Laker defensemen. Eberhardt went down hard and had to be carried off the field. But his effort would not go unrewarded. The Wolverines earned a penalty-kick for the play.
Adams lined up for the kick and fired it at the North Tahoe goalie, who made a diving save. The game, and Truckee’s season, ended with the 2-0 loss.
“I really felt like we controlled the play in the first half. But when you control the ball, you need to score because you know you won’t control North Tahoe the entire game,” Curtis said. “We didn’t capitilize on the advantage we had in the first half and in the long run it made things difficult.”
“It certainly isn’t the way you want to end the season, but if you look at high school sports as vehicle to shape young mens lives, I think the season was a success. They learned alot about commitment and working together. They over-achieved and did a great job.”
“Anytime you get North Tahoe, Incline and Truckee togethernt anything can happen. I thinnk all of the teams reflect the quality of 3A soccer. There’s always next year,” Curtis added.
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