North Tahoe girls’ soccer | Lakers play South Tahoe tough in loss |

North Tahoe girls’ soccer | Lakers play South Tahoe tough in loss

Sylas Wright/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe sweeper Kelsey Wittels led an effective Laker defense that held South Tahoe scoreless in the first half Tuesday. The Vikings broke through in the second half for a 2-0 win.

TAHOE CITY and#8212; For 48 minutes on Tuesday, the Laker defense withstood a barrage of heavy pressure from visiting South Tahoe to keep the league contest to a scoreless draw.

But they could only hold off the Vikings’ attack for so long.

Eight minutes into the second half, Natalie Flynn took it upon herself to end the scoring drought. The senior dribbled 60-plus yards down the sideline, past several Lakers, before cutting in and scoring the game’s first goal past freshman keeper Kami Abi-Nader.

Just two minutes later, Flynn gathered a through ball from Kelly Colleton and buried it for a 2-0 South Tahoe lead. The score would stick, adjusting the Lakers’ league record to 1-2-1 while the Vikings improved to 4-1 in the Sierra League.

and#8220;I think we lost some steam after the two goals,and#8221; said North Tahoe head coach Jon Rockwood. and#8220;When you’re completely hit by offensive attack after offensive attack, it’s tough to stay up. South Tahoe is a good team. They definitely deserved the win. But I thought we played well.and#8221;

Abi-Nader did her part to keep North Tahoe in the game. After replacing injured starting goalie Tannyr Pasvantis in the opening minutes, the freshman was put to the test almost immediately and#8212; and she passed, making several quick-reflex saves to hold the Vikings scoreless into the half.

and#8220;At the heart of their defensive counters was Kami,and#8221; Rockwood said. and#8220;I think that’s encouraging for a defense when their goalie makes big saves like that.and#8221;

The Lakers had several chances of their own. Nicole Younger hit the far goal post with a shot attempt just before the first half ended, and both Mago Olivares and Emily Pieper blasted shots that narrowly missed in the closing minutes.

and#8220;North Tahoe came out ready to play,and#8221; said South Tahoe head coach Chris DeLeon. and#8220;For us, it’s always the bus ride. We didn’t play our game. We played North Tahoe’s style, playing long ball.and#8221;

DeLeon credited the Lakers’ defensive effort for frustrating the Vikings, especially in the first half.

and#8220;That’s what beat us up. They played great defensively,and#8221; he said.

In typical fashion for North Tahoe’s senior sweeper, Kelsey Wittels played inspired defense from start to finish, thwarting every South Tahoe attack that came her way with her aggressive style and big left foot. She had help from teammates.

and#8220;Kelsey Wittels is just an incredible sweeper,and#8221; Rockwood said. and#8220;It’s nice to be able to rely on her to clear the ball, and distribute the ball. I have to give her credit for another great game.and#8221;

The coach said he looks forward to getting back on the winning track, starting with Thursday’s league game at Dayton.

and#8220;Look for us to be a much stronger team the rest of the season,and#8221; he said. and#8220;I only see positive things coming out of this.and#8221;

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