North Tahoe soccer | Boys edge Whittell, girls play to scoreless tie
Sun News Service
ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. and#8212; Whittell High players anguished as they were whistled for offsides on a breakaway attempt late in a close boys’ soccer match with North Tahoe on Thursday evening.
Officials didn’t spot injured North Tahoe defender Zach Rickenbach writhing in pain in the Lakers’ goal. With that defender back, Whittell shouldn’t have been whistled for the infraction, according to coach Steve Maltase.
and#8220;That was a great scoring opportunity there,and#8221; said Maltase of T.J. Kolesnik’s potential one-on-one chance against keeper Trevor Trimm. and#8220;I respect the fact that they can admit they made a mistake, but it doesn’t help us. That might have been a goal there.and#8221;
The Warriors were instead awarded a 35-yard free kick, and they were unable to convert that shot and some other late opportunities in a 1-0 Sierra League loss to North Tahoe.
and#8220;We’re still in the mix, but it’s going to be a little bit tougher than it would have been,and#8221; said Maltase, whose team slipped to 2-5-1 and#8212; four points behind the Lakers. The teams are battling Sparks for the third and fourth playoff spots from the league.
Sophomore midfielder Riley McCarthy headed in the lone goal 30 seconds before intermission on a cross from Zander Blackmon.
and#8220;We practice those crosses in practice every day, and it finally paid off,and#8221; said North Tahoe coach Beto Alcaraz.
Trimm made several game-saving plays, including a diving save on Kolesnik’s low-trajectory shot that was headed inside the near post.
Fourth-place North Tahoe (3-3-2) extended its lead over Whittell (2-5-1) to four points with four matches remaining.
and#8220;A very huge win, but we still have a long ways to go,and#8221; Alcaraz said. and#8220;We knew it was going to be hard against Whittell. Every time we play them here or at home, it’s a always a good, physical game.and#8221;
In the preceding match, Whittell earned its third tie of the league season, playing the Laker girls to a scoreless standoff.
Both teams had outstanding chances to break the tie in the second half, including a chip shot by Whittell’s Sierra Forvilly over closing keeper Angela Wood in the 77th minute. Forvilly’s touch shot just missed left of the mark.
and#8220;I think we dodged a bullet, but I think it would have been a hard one to put in for Whittell,and#8221; said North Tahoe coach Jon Rockwood. and#8220;We’ve been scored on in the last five minutes before, and that’s tough.and#8221;
Whittell created several solid scoring chances in the first half, including a point-blank miss by Jenny Shepack, and Marlo Smith forced keeper Kami Abi-Nader to make a diving save late in the first half.
Smith came out of the match for about four minutes in the second half after an injuring her ankle in a collision. She returned and got off a possible tie-breaking shot in the final minutes, but the 25-yard attempt was wide of the mark.
and#8220;We would have liked to have won,and#8221; said Whittell coach Patrick Kelly. and#8220;Down the stretch we have to get a couple of wins to get some points. and#8220;
Freshman Brittany Boulet made several key saves, and along with the defense in front of her, has only give up two goals in the past two league games.
and#8220;We’re playing some of our better soccer right now,and#8221; Kelly said. and#8220;Our last couple games I’ve been really proud of how tough they’ve played, and they played together as a team.and#8221;