Heading to playoffs
The Truckee High varsity boys soccer team that refused to lose throughout most of the season has stumbled a bit of late, losing 2-1 to Sparks on Oct. 18 and 3-2 to rival North Tahoe Tuesday on Dollar Hill.
The loss ” which dropped Truckee (6-2) to second place in the Northern 3A behind the Lakers (7-1) and marked the final game before playoffs begin on Nov. 3 ” does not worry Wolverines head coach Hernan Valdivia.
“I’m not discouraged by the loss at all,” Valdivia said. “We could have easily folded, and we came back.”
A comeback was certainly in order Tuesday as Truckee faced a 3-0 deficit late in the game.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Lakers goalie Michele Basile shanked a goal kick to the nearest Truckee defender, Eric Dita, who then had only one player to beat before placing the ball into the side netting of the North Tahoe goal.
Seconds after the ensuing kickoff North Tahoe gave away a free kick from about 40 yards out, which Truckee’s Al Virrey took. Lakers players, apparently assuming the kick was intended to be deflected, did not go for the ball, including Basile, and it landed untouched just inside the goal.
Time was not on the Wolverines’ side, though, and the game ended, dashing any hopes of a comeback victory.
“They were fired up to play,” Valdivia said of North Tahoe players. “They were maybe a little more prepared at the start. It took us about five minutes to get into the flow of the game.
“By that time it was too late.”
The game was the second of the year between the league’s top two teams ” the Wolverines won the first contest 2-1 at home on Sept. 15 ” and with North Tahoe beating Truckee in the state championship game a year ago, the both squads are hungry to meet there again.
“I think we’ll be ready,” Valdivia said of postseason play. “We’ve got to correct some of the things I saw (in the game against North Tahoe), but I think we’ll be right where we need to be.”
Valdivia said because of some nagging injuries that have plagued several Wolverines players late this season, the weeklong break before the divisional tournament comes at a good time. Plus, Valdivia said, the extra week should allow the Wolverines time to iron out flaws offensively.
“We need to attack more as a unit and get pressure on other teams’ defenses,” Valdivia said. “We created a lot of chances (during the last game) but didn’t finish shots under pressure.”
Alex Close contributed to this story.