Boys soccer falls to North Tahoe in playoffs
By Walt Torbert and Matt Riddle
The boys soccer team didn’t finish the way they wanted to. They wanted to beat North Tahoe for once this season, but North Tahoe had other plans like knocking Truckee out of the playoffs in the quarter finals of the 2002 NIAA 3A Northern League soccer tournament. The 1-0 loss was the third for the defending state champs to North Tahoe.
“There’s those years that you struggle with goal scoring and this was one of those years,” coach Rob Curtis said.
The Wolverines scored only one goal in its two games, first beating Battle Mountain 1-0 in overtime on Thursday and then Friday’s loss.
North Tahoe went on to lose to Incline Village in the finals, 3-0. Both teams advance to this weekend’s state tournament in Las Vegas.
Friday’s game was a “do or die” game for both teams, North Tahoe and Truckee squared off on a sloppy field Friday night to determine who would go to the state tournament and who would stay home.
North Tahoe’s were depleted by injuries and Truckee was missing their starting goalie, Daniel Galvin.
The Wolverines controlled the first third of the game, penetrating deep into Laker territory on four occasions without scoring.
Twenty-four minutes into the game, North Tahoe goalie Daniel Rojas blocked a hard shot from 15 yards out which led him past the left post. The rebound trickled across the front of the goal, and it appeared Truckee’s forwards would have an easy score. Rojas then re-entered the play parallel to the ground to block the second shot.
Rojas made at least five similar saves in the first half alone.
“I have no words to describe Daniel Rojas’ performance-it’s one of the best I’ve seen in my coaching career,” said Laker coach Bert Alcaraz after the game.
“You’ve got to give credit to their keeper,” Truckee coach Rob Curtis said.
Truckee’s domination of the game began to expire as the first half wound down.
The start of the second half featured two good scoring opportunites for the Lakers as a heavy downpour began to soak and freeze players and fans alike.
Sixteen minutes in, Laker B.C. Lampman beat the Truckee goalie to a ball on the right fringe of the 18-yard box. Truckee’s goalie came out of the box and Lampman hooked a slow roller around the keeper and then watched as his teammates escorted the ball into the net for Tahoe’s only score.
“Our goalie made one mistake,” Curtis said. “We just trained him last week.”
Minutes later, a Truckee goal was called back on offsides.
“I think we dominated the entire game,” Curtis said. “This is a big disappointment for our team.”
Truckee’s Miguel Tafolla led the Wolverines with 19 goals on the season alongn with 8 assists. Tim McDonald led with 16 assists and 8 goals. Kyle Kelly, Tafolla and Rueben Martinez all made first team all-conference.
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