Boys’s soccer ties with Incline after slow start
After an early season win over Incline High School, the Truckee High School boys’ soccer team was hoping for a repeat. But a slow first half left the Wolverines with their first tie of the season on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium, 1-1.
The Highlanders came out running hard in the first-half of play, as the Wolverines struggled to get their offense rolling.
Although Incline possessed the ball the majority of the first-half, Truckee’s defense did not allow any solid shots on goal. Truckee’s Kyle Adams came up with a big block on defense to stop the Highlanders’ first clear shot at Wolverine goalie Clayton Bena.
Bena felt more heat in the first-half than he has dealt with in a while, but he charged the driving offensemen to take away key scoring possibilities.
Fifteen minutes into the first-half the Wolverines made their first structured offensive drive across mid-field all game.
On Incline’s offensive possessions, they found open passing lanes, while Truckee struggled to pass through the wall Incline created on defense.
Danny Rostad came up with the first big play for the Wolverines as he stole the ball and dribbled it past mid-field before passing it off to Scott Eberhardt. Eberhardt drove toward the goal but the Incline goal keeper charged him before he could get the shot off.
The Wolverines continued to struggle with passing, as the passes they usually lace together with ease bounced off the feet of Incline defensemen.
Truckee’s Timmy McDonald had the first break away of the game. As he entered the penalty box he was pummeled by the Incline goalie.
The first goal of the game came shortly after. The Wolverines tried to clear the ball when an Incline defenseman jumped up and hit the ball with his head in an attempt to keep the ball on their side of the field. The ball bounced off the defender’s head into the open field, where McDonald drove the ball unguarded down to the Incline goal. McDonald faked the shot, fooling the Incline goalie, and McDonald tapped the ball in for the goal.
The goal was enough to inspire the Wolverine offense to get moving. In the remaining minutes of the first-half, Truckee began to put the heat on the Incline goalie.
The Highlanders were not to be outdone. Their offense also picked up the pace, sending more shots, more accurately than ever, at Bena. One Incline shot was headed straight for the back of the net until Bena got a hand on it and Rostad cleared the ball from the penalty box. Forrest Platt also came up with a save when he cleared a ball headed for the net.
Kyle Adams continued to contain the Highlander offense.
Incline’s Sergio Hernandez drove to the net – for a face-off with Bena and the first open shot for the Highlanders – but his shot went wide right.
Hernandez hit the crossbar on a free kick a few plays later.
In the second-half, the roles were reversed as the Wolverines showed tough hustle while the Highlanders struggled to keep up.
Truckee instantly broke into a more controlled game, which resulted in more possession.
Early in the second-half, Rostad received his second yellow card, which resulted in a soft-red card, forcing him to leave the game.
Matt Freeman stepped up on defense to make some key stops, while the Wolverines closed Incline’s passing lanes.
The lack of hustle from the Highlanders looked like a promising sign for the Wolverines, as Truckee continued to control the ball. But on one of the few Highlander offensive possessions in the second-half, Incline’s Carlos Menacho sent a shot rolling past Bena to tie the game.
The goal gave Incline its second wind, as they began to send shots at Bena. Kevin Flyn showed good hustle late in the game to prevent another Incline goal.
On the opposite end of the field, Eberhardt charged the Incline goalie with one last attempt to win the game. His shot deflected off the goalie and rebounded to Shane Collins, who was unable to connect with the back of the net.
In the final seconds of the game, Bena held on to send the game into the books as a tie.
“What happened here was the last two to three games we played, teams allowed us time. And we got accustomed to that,” said head coach Rob Curtis.
“Incline came out faster and forced us to make quicker decisions. It took us time to adjust,” he said.
“The second-half was a reflection of our adjustments, which should’ve been faster. We just never settled into our game,” he added.
“You get in a habit of thinking, and we were in a slow-thinking mode. It was a good wake-up call for us that we’ve got to be prepared.”
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