North Tahoe, Whittell boys soccer play to 1-1 tie |

North Tahoe, Whittell boys soccer play to 1-1 tie

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe and Whittell played to a 1-1 tie Tuesday. There was no winner of this fifty-fifty ball, either.

The skies were gray and threatening as the North Tahoe boys soccer team took the home field against Whittell on Tuesday afternoon. The rain held off until the second half, but as the skies opened up, so did a questionable opportunity for Whittell that erased a one-goal North Tahoe lead and closed the game deadlocked at 1-1.

The Lakers’ offense showed promise straight away in the first half. Though not a lot of wide-open shots were created, North Tahoe passed well in the midfield and fed balls up front to the strikers.

The persistence paid off about 15 minutes into the half as senior Jonathan Delfino smacked a shot from 15 yards out that deflected off a Whittell defender and bounced in the goal. The Lakers took that 1-0 lead to halftime.

As the second half began, so did the rain. Intermittent at first, the drops grew steady, sending fans scrambling for umbrellas and the players slip-sliding around. Play in the second half was aggressive and even as the Lakers put up a barrage of shots. But Whittell did, too.

Nothing hit net until the final 10 minutes of the game when a wet and skipping ball bounced up and hit a North Tahoe defender on the side of the shoulder in the penalty box.

Though many in attendance saw obviously that the defender had not intentionally played the ball with his hand, one of the referees saw otherwise, calling a hand ball from 40 yards away through the rain.

The Warriors’ Mario Olmos dispatched the subsequent penalty kick, tying up the score at 1-1.

No one could muster a goal in the final minutes and the game finished as a tie, dropping the Lakers’ Northern 3A record to 2-1-1.

North Tahoe head coach Beto Alcaraz was disappointed but understanding of the outcome.

“I was pleased with how we played, but what happened was unfortunate,” said Alcaraz. “I did not feel it was an intentional hand ball, but I respect the referee’s call. It’s a tough job.”

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