North Tahoe soccer | Boys lose postseason heartbreaker in shootout
Courtesy of the Elko Daily Free Press
ELKO, Nev. – High school soccer just doesn’t get any better than this.
After 110 minutes of play, the Elko and North Tahoe boys’ soccer teams were deadlocked at 0-all in a first-round game of the Northern 3A Tournament. Stellar defensive play had led to two scoreless halves in regulation, and then two shutouts in the 15-minute, overtime sessions.
Finally, it came down to Elko keeper Guillermo Alvarez versus the Lakers’ top five shooters, and North Tahoe goalie Trevor Trimm against the Tribe’s best five.
Alvarez, who played this season with the junior varsity team but is replacing injured varsity keeper Miguel Romero, won as he stopped two penalty kicks, and the Indians took a 4-3 win in the shootout.
“That’s the most incredible thing I’ve seen,” Elko coach Chris Hooiman said. “For our JV goalie to step up and have that kind of confidence is incredible.”
In the shootout, North Tahoe’s Salvador Avila got the first chance but was stopped by Alvarez. Elko’s Tyler Streif followed and scored to his left as Trimm guessed right.
Ashton Williams, who shot second for the Lakers, had his initial shot stopped, but he was awarded a second attempt when the official whistled Alvarez for moving up in the box. Williams did not miss on his second opportunity.
The Tribe’s Brandon Valerio and North Tahoe’s Hugo Moreno each scored. Jesse Luna had the chance to keep the pressure on the Lakers, but Elko’s No. 3 shooter saw his shot clank off the crossbar.
With renewed optimism on the North Tahoe sideline, Zach Rickenbach lined up and took his shot for the Lakers. Alvarez came up once again with the big stop.
Sergio Silva, another junior varsity player brought up for the postseason, stepped up for the Tribe and scored with a shot to his right. North Tahoe’s Jonathan Ruiz kept the pressure on with a score to tie it at 3-all, but Elko’s Bernard Manuel had the final shot.
Manuel went left and buried his shot in the back of the net for the game-winning score.
“Both these teams played so well and a game shouldn’t have to end on a shootout,” Hooiman said. “We prepared for this (Tuesday) in practice. Our defense, I think, is No. 1 in the state, and North Tahoe is right behind us. We proved it today.”
Lakers coach Beto Alcaraz said a shootout is a “toss up.”
“We missed two and they missed one,” Alcaraz said. “It was a very hard-fought, clean game. We just couldn’t put it in. Our defense played extremely well. We didn’t know what to expect coming in and we knew we had to play perfectly on defense and we did. Our defense played stellar.”
Each team had looks during regulation and overtime.
In the first half, Allen Addo-Atiemo’s shot from 30-yards away to put Elko ahead hit off the crossbar, and Valerio executed a well-timed bicycle kick in traffic, but the shot missed to the left.
In the second half, Trimm came up with several stops to preserve the shutout, including one on a shot by Streif right before the end of regulation.
In the second overtime, the Lakers had three opportunities to score the game winner. Williams missed one to the left, Williams’ second attempt in the period went right to Alvarez, and the third shot was on a header by a North Tahoe player that just went over the crossbar.
While North Tahoe’s season comes to an end, the Indians are able to extend their season as they advance to the regional semifinals at Fallon on Friday. They take on Truckee, which advanced thanks to a 6-0 win against Lowry. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Elko improves to 20-2-1 on the season. The 20 wins breaks the program’s single-season record.
North Tahoe’s girls, which were seeded fourth in the Sierra League, lost 1-0 at top-seeded Fallon of the Humboldt League to end their season.
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