Boys soccer: Truckee to face tough test against Incline in state semifinal
It was only fitting that the North Tahoe and Truckee boys soccer teams would clash for a state title berth.
After both teams won their Northern 3A Regional openers last Tuesday, both went on to lose in the semifinal round Friday to set up a deciding battle for the third and final state seed the following day.
The Wolverines prevailed by a score of 3-0 over their longtime rivals to earn a shot at a third consecutive state championship. Truckee owns a Nevada state record seven state titles; North Tahoe ranks second with six state titles.
The road to another championship won’t be easy for the Wolverines, who face off against top Northern seed Incline in a state semifinal on Friday at 2 p.m. Top-seeded Virgin Valley out of the South plays second Northern seed Sparks in the other semifinal the same day.
Friday’s state semis will be held at Golden Eagle Regional Park in Sparks, while the state championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. at Damonte Ranch High School in south Reno.
So far this season Truckee is 0-3 against the Highlanders, who enter state undefeated against the Northern 3A, at 17-0. Incline has outscored Truckee 8-2 in the three meetings, including a 2-0 win in the regional semifinal.
The Lakers dropped their semifinal 3-0 to second-seeded Sparks, which went on to lose to Incline in the regional championship, 3-1.
In the North Tahoe-Truckee game, junior midfielder Michael Brixey put the Wolverines on top with a goal unassisted about 20 minutes into the contest. Clayton Hamill scored a second Truckee goal assisted by Robby Heck for a 2-0 lead at the half, and Jason Apolinar added a third goal in the second half to round out the scoring.
and#8220;We played really, really well and#8212; a lot of energy,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Hernan Valdivia. and#8220;It was nice to see that the kids understood what was on the line and step up. Now we’ve got Incline one more time.and#8221;
To get past the Highlanders, Valdivia said Truckee must find a way to connect more shots on goal, while also keeping Incline’s skilled strikers in check.
and#8220;We have to convert our chances in front of the box. We’ve got to score, basically,and#8221; Valdivia said. and#8220;Our defense has to shut down their forwards, and we just have to score. We’re creating a lot of opportunities; we’re just not making the most of them.and#8221;