Division I-A soccer | Truckee girls held scoreless in state semifinal loss
HENDERSON, Nev. — The Truckee girls peppered the Sierra Vista goal with a growing sense of urgency for the final 20 minutes of their Division I-A state semifinal in Henderson on Friday night.
The ball simply did not find its target.
Sierra Vista senior forward Sophia Omidiji lofted a free kick from 25 yards that bounced off the post and into the goal midway through the first half, and that’s all the Mountain Lions needed to advance to the state championship match with a 1-0 victory.
“I thought in the second half we possessed and created some good scoring opportunities. We just couldn’t put the ball in the net, and they got a lucky one,” said Truckee coach Travis Spencer.
The Mountain Lions, the No. 2 seed from the South, went on to give South Tahoe all it could handle in the title game before falling in overtime, 3-2.
“Our girls put a lot of energy into both games,” said Sierra Vista coach Ross Muir. “This is our first time making it to states, and both teams (Truckee and South Tahoe) were extremely well prepared and have quality players. But we play well as a team, which makes it hard to defend against.
“We had some issues at the beginning, but as the season progressed our defense got stronger and stronger. They withstood quite an attack from that Truckee team, especially in the last five to 10 minutes there.”
The loss was tough to process for the Wolverines, who entered the state tournament as the North’s No. 1 seed after defeating league champion South Tahoe for the regional title.
“I’ve been working with these girls a long time and I know what they are capable of. We did a lot of it. It just didn’t go our way today,” Spencer said, adding that the Wolverines had a 12-minute stretch in the first half in which they did not play up to their ability — and it cost them.
After falling behind in the first half, Truckee regrouped and began playing its possession game, connecting passes to the feet and controlling the action.
But the Mountain Lions fended off the attack with a stout defensive effort and a little luck, as a number of Truckee shots narrowly missed their marks. Junior goalie Jayla Olson preserved the shutout.
Truckee finished the year 19-4-2 overall and 15-2-2 against its Division I-A competition. The Wolverines, who own the NIAA girls soccer record with eight state championships, last won state in 2009. Truckee is set to lose 10 seniors from this year’s team.