North Tahoe soccer | Lakers lose league games at South Tahoe |

North Tahoe soccer | Lakers lose league games at South Tahoe

Sun Staff and News Service report
Steve Yingling/Sun News ServiceHugo Moreno tries to push the ball up the field during a 3-1 loss at South Tahoe on Thursday.

Both North Tahoe soccer teams dropped Sierra League games at South Tahoe on Thursday, the girls by a score of 5-0 and the boys 3-1.

In the boysand#8217; game, North Tahoe senior defender Zach Rickenbach and his Laker teammates made a valiant effort to spoil the South Tahoe boysand#8217; senior day, as Rickenbach headed in a corner kick in the fourth minute to give the Lakers a 1-0 lead. Hugo Moreno set up the score with a corner kick.

and#8220;I stay out of the box, and then we run and pass it in, and we just connected,and#8221; Rickenbach explained. and#8220;We caught them off guard, and in the last game we played against them at our place in the first 10 minutes we had a few corners right away.and#8221;

But the Vikings quickly tied the score when Jamie Yelles headed in a cross from senior Sergio Rodriguez in the ninth minute.

Senior Kyle Wallace nearly put the Vikings ahead, but Lakersand#8217; keeper Trevor Trimm made a diving save to his right at 18:00. North Tahoe almost went in front at 37:00 when Salvador Avilaand#8217;s long free kick resulted in a header that went just wide of the goal.

South Tahoe didnand#8217;t take long to break the 1-1 halftime tie, scoring at 43:00 when senior Cody Williams took a through ball by Kory DiGrande, dribbled inside and blasted a shot into the top-shelf of the goal.

and#8220;Once they scored their second goal we didnand#8217;t put our heads down,and#8221; said North Tahoe coach Beto Alcaraz. and#8220;We continued playing, and we had a few chances.and#8221;

North Tahoe created several chances to tie the score, including a nice feed from Omar Arellano to Freddy Ramirez, but Ramirezand#8217;s shot sailed high and wide.

The Vikings added an insurance goal late in the game when Caroand#8217;s 45-yard shot caromed off the corner of the right post. Junior Emilio Romero collected the rebound and put it in the back of the net to cap the 3-1 win.

South Tahoe improved to 11-0, clinching the outright Sierra League title. The Lakers, who are battling for the leagueand#8217;s fourth playoff berth, slipped to 3-5-2.

and#8220;I think we played very, very well today, and by scoring the first goal gave us a little more confidence,and#8221; Alcaraz said. and#8220;We were able to control the tempo of the game for a while.

and#8220;We knew these guys are a very good team. It didnand#8217;t matter if they were first place, second place or last place, we were just gonna play our game.and#8221;

Despite the loss, North Tahoe coach Jon Rockwood said he was proud of the way his team played, and pleased with the manner in which they handled themselves against a tough South Tahoe squad.

and#8220;They maintained their composure and played a clean game,and#8221; he said.

Marisol Lizaola put the Vikings on the board first on a 35-yard free kick in the seventh minute. Ali Palacios then found the back of the net before halftime as she beat the North Tahoe keeper one-on-one by slotting in a close-range shot.

Freshman Cassidy Jackson deflected in a corner kick by junior Shannon Colleton to make the score 3-0 in the 43rd minute.

Lizaola completed the Vikingsand#8217; scoring by converting a 20-yard free kick from the left side into the upper right-hand corner at 51:00, then in the 79th minute she fired in 15-yard shot off the keeperand#8217;s fingertips and into the top center of the goal.

The Vikings improved to 9-1-1 in league, with one game remaining before they will host a first-round playoff game on Nov. 3. North Tahoe, which is battling for the leagueand#8217;s fourth playoff spot, saw its record drop to 2-5-3.

and#8220;I am proud of how the girls played. I think at times, we played great soccer,and#8221; Rockwood said. and#8220;We have been working on the fundamental skills and techniques of soccer during practice, and itand#8217;s rewarding to see those techniques applied, even momentarily.

and#8220;Still, we seem to be one step behind. Our pace of play has to be picked up. South Tahoe played a fast-paced game and worked the ball well.and#8221;

After losing to Truckee, 4-2, last week, the Vikings have now outscored their past two opponents, 11-0.

and#8220;Hopefully Truckee woke up a sleeping giant,and#8221; said South Tahoe coach Chris DeLeon. and#8220;The girls are really coming together on and off the field, playing for each other and playing for the school program.and#8221;

Aggressive midfield play and an attacking offense limited North Tahoe to one shot against Vikingsand#8217; keeper Janet Campuzano.

and#8220;We are now focusing on our very important game against Dayton on Tuesday,and#8221; said Rockwood, whose team has only two more regular-season games remaining. and#8220;We have put ourselves in quite a fight for fourth place and we need to win.and#8221;

The Lakers are currently in fifth place, one point behind Sparks (3-6-1) in the league standings. The top four teams advance to the postseason.

and#8212; Tahoe Daily Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling contributed to this article.