North Tahoe boys’ soccer | Lakers lose heartbreaker to Whittell |

North Tahoe boys’ soccer | Lakers lose heartbreaker to Whittell

Sylas Wright/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe sophomore Jonathan Ruiz blasts a goal into the upper corner of the net for the first score in Tuesday's game.

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; When it comes to heartbreaking losses, this one has to rank as one of the most deflating of all time for the Laker boys’ soccer program.

But, at least it didn’t happen in the postseason.

After North Tahoe players and fans celebrated a go-ahead goal by Omar Arellano in the 70th minute, visiting Whittell scored two goals in the final 11 minutes to rally for a 3-2 Sierra League win on Tuesday.

and#8220;That was very tough,and#8221; said an emotional Beto Alcaraz, North Tahoe’s head coach, after a sullen postgame meeting with his players. and#8220;We put ourselves into this situation. We had so many shots on goal, and we didn’t put them in. We put ourselves in this situation here. It’s ridiculous.

and#8220;I don’t know if some of these guys are aware of what it takes to play at this level.and#8221;

The first and second half varied like night and day, as both squads battled to a scoreless draw to the midway point, saving all the offensive action and drama for the final 30 minutes of the contest.

With the Lakers still in shock after allowing a tying goal on a penalty kick and#8212; a controversial foul that left the home team furious and#8212; Alex Vogt scored in the 76th minute off a rebound amid a flurry of action directly in front of the North Tahoe goal. The Warriors had taken their first lead of the game, 3-2. Four minutes later, they erupted in celebration when the final whistle sounded.

and#8220;That was exciting. What a roller coaster,and#8221; said Whittell coach Steve Maltase. and#8220;I haven’t been involved in a game like that in a long time.

and#8220;and#8230; Beto’s kids played tough like they always do. This league is intense this year.and#8221;

The loss dropped the Lakers to 0-1-1 in league and 0-4-3 overall, while Whittell improved to 1-2 in league and 7-5-1 overall.

North Tahoe sophomore Jonathan Ruiz opened the scoring on Tuesday with a goal unassisted in the 58th minute. Ruiz burned his defender before blasting a left-footed shot into the upper far corner of the net for a 1-0 Laker lead.

Whittell answered shortly after on a free kick from long range, as Blake Heldt-Werle sent a lofting shot over the head over North Tahoe keeper Trevor Trimm from about 35 yards out to tie the score. North Tahoe retook the lead, 2-1, just one minute later when Omar Arellano blasted a goal into the back of the net from 20 yards.

Then came the controversial call, which awarded T.J. Kolesnik a penalty kick in the 69th minute. Laker players pleaded their case with the referee who made the call, claiming a phantom foul. But the call had been made, and Kolesnik converted with a low shot to the right of Trimm.

Seven minutes later, Vogt put in the winning goal.

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