Boys’ soccer: Truckee falls in state championship
Sun News Service
While statistical dominance doesn’t always guarantee victory in soccer, capitalizing on your opponent’s mistakes regularly does. Just ask the North Tahoe boys’ team.
Truckee outshot the Lakers 17-8, put nine shots on goal and hit the post twice, but still lost the 2004 NIAA Boys’ Soccer 3A State Championship, 2-1, on Nov. 13 at Cimarron-Memorial High School.
The difference came down to two failed clearances on different corner kicks. The first allowed Laker Sam Fahrner to tie the score 1-1 in the first half, while the second gave Laker Paco Delgado the chance to score a game-clinching goal with 20 minutes remaining.
“They were two mayhem goals,” Wolverines coach Rob Curtis said. “I thought we played a good game and dominated, but a post here and a post there and you lose by a goal.”
Truckee took the first lead of the game in the 22nd minute when Laker sweeper Marnix Ramirez took down a Wolverines player in the box. The foul set up a penalty kick, which Luis Maldonado buried the ball in the right corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead.
“The ball was just loose, and I held him,” Ramirez said. “It was a mistake.”
The Lakers rebounded minutes later when a weak clearance on a North Tahoe corner kick came to Ramirez at the top of the 18-yard box. Ramirez’s shot squirted left, landing at the feet of Farhner, who put it into the net with a strong, left-footed shot.
Truckee continued to pressure the Lakers the rest of the half, even hitting one shot off the post, but the whistle blew with the score locked 1-1.
“We kept our composure,” Lakers coach Bert Alcaraz said. “That’s what allowed us to handle all their pressure.”
The Lakers continued to come under attack in the second half. The Wolverines took 10 shots, four of which were on-goal, forcing Lakers’ goalkeeper Michele Basile to make three saves. The most dramatic save came in the 58th minute of the match when Scott Eberhardt found himself alone on a breakaway with only Basile to beat. The freshman goalie came up with a big stop.
“For a young kid, he did really well,” Curtis said of the save. “Everyone in the 3A will have their hands full for the next three years.”
Though the Lakers managed only four second-half shots and two on-goal, the team made the one that mattered. With 13 minutes left, Delgado thread a loose ball on a corner kick between two Truckee defenders and into the side of the goal, giving the Lakers a 2-1 lead.
“We knew that Truckee’s goalkeeper can get carried away and come out,” Alcaraz said. “He plays well in the air, but we tried to keep it away from him and that’s what happened on Paco’s goal. He was out of the goal when the ball fell at [Paco’s] feet.”
Truckee retaliated by adding a third forward in an attempt to tie the match. The Wolverines nearly did with two minutes left when a shot deflected off the post following an acrobatic save by Basile. In the end, however, the Lakers staved off the Wolverines to win the state title.
“Every time we play Truckee we struggle to play our game because [the game’s] physical, emotional and intense,” Alcaraz said. “We weren’t able to pass as effectively as we’d like, but we played quick and got it done.”
Truckee finished the season with a 15-4 overall record. North Tahoe knocked Truckee out of the 2003 state championship tournament with a 2-0 victory in the first round.
For the second year in a row, North Tahoe swept the 3A soccer state championship tournament, as the Laker girls beat Faith Lutheran by a score of 2-0 in the championship game.
Date Day Opponent Result Overall League
Aug. 27-28 Fri./Sat. @ Galena Tourn. 2-2 rec. (preseason)
Sept. 2 Thurs. vs. Yerington W, 6-0 1-0 0-0
Sept. 4 Sat. vs. Spring Creek W, 1-0 2-0 0-0
Sept. 16 Thurs. @ North Tahoe L, 2-1 2-1 0-1
Sept. 21 Tues. vs. Whittell W, 7-0 3-1 1-1
Sept. 24 Fri. vs. Incline W, 6-0 (forfeit) 3-2 1-2
Sept. 25 Sat. @ Lowry W, 3-0 4-2 1-2
Sept. 28 Tues. @ Sparks L, 1-0 4-3 1-3
Oct. 5 Tues. vs. Rite of Passage W, 14-0 5-3 2-3
Oct. 7 Thurs. @ Whittell W, 7-0 6-3 3-3
Oct. 15 Fri. vs. Lowry W, 2-1 7-3 3-3
Oct. 21 Thurs. @ Rite of Passage W, 19-0 8-3 4-3
Oct. 22 Fri. @ Incline W, 5-1 9-3 5-3
Oct. 28 Thurs. @ Sparks W, 5-1 10-3 6-3
Oct. 29 Fri. vs. North Tahoe W, 2-0 11-3 7-3
*Nov. 4 Thurs. vs. Battle Mountain W, 7-0 12-3
*Nov. 5 Fri. vs. Incline W, 5-1 13-3
*Nov. 6 Sat. vs. North Tahoe W, 2-0 14-3
#Nov. 12 Fri. vs. White Pine W, 3-1 15-3
#Nov. 13 Sat. vs. North Tahoe L, 2-1 15-4
*Northern 3A playoff game
#3A State Championship game
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.