Soccer teams in full throttle
The Tahoe-Truckee Wolverines varsity boys’ soccer team made their debut at Surprise Stadium on Aug. 31 with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Nevada Union.
They then traveled to Napa for the Vintage Tournament over the weekend of Sept. 4 and 5. Playing four games against Division I teams, the Wolverines tied twice and lost twice.
“Every team we played was a league champion or division winner in their league and every school was bigger than us,” Truckee Head Coach Mike Holman said, “We lost the first game to Vintage high school 2-1 in a game that we were capable of winning. We just came out flat and never got into a rhythm.
“Against Petaluma, a very good, physical team, we ended up with a 3-3 tie, despite leading 2-0 in the first half,” he said. “I was not disappointed with the tie. It was a game either team could have won. We were very evenly matched.”
The team lost to St. Mary’s 4-0 before meeting with Anali.
The bigger and stronger Anali team jumped to a 2-0 first half lead.
“At halftime,” Holmes said, “I told our team to just have fun and not get any more injuries in the second half.
“In the second half, our team stopped trying to play a head banging game and started playing incredibly smart, ball control soccer,” Holman continued. “Everything we have been trying to teach them just came together … we totally dominated the second half with crisp passes, wonderful one-two combinations and overlaps. That second half showed me what Truckee is capable of.”
This past weekend, the Wolverines traveled to Sacramento where they participated in the Del Campo tournament. Another four game tournament against Division I opponents, the Truckee team finished with a win, two ties and a loss.
The Wolverines tied against Jesuit, 0-0, in the first game of the tournament.
Their second match was against Placer, where despite out shooting their opponents 18-5, they ended in another tie.
“We hit the cross bars, put the ball over the net. We were just wide,” Holmes said. “It was just one of those things.”
The boys finally prevailed in the tournament’s third game against Napa.
The Wolverines dominated the first half, again with great passing, switching the ball from side to side of the field, working the one-two combinations.
In the 16:00 minute mark of the second half, on a great individual effort by Elias Silver, juking two defenders, the ball flashed in the goal and the Wolverines were up 1-0. For the third time in three games, goalie Gabe Valle and the defense threw a shut out at a Division I team and the elated Truckee team claimed the 1-0 win.
The win however was not without its costs. In a freak occurrence, stopper Pete Kennelly fell on his hand, breaking his wrist. Gene Moniz, playing right fullback, received a deep thigh bruise and was unable to play at full speed. Sweeper, Curtis Donaldson, was kicked on the top of his foot and could not continue in the final game.
Truckee finished the tournament with a 4-1 loss to Casa Roble. Fernando Gonzalez scored the Wolverines’ only goal.
“We played Division I teams and were able to play at their level,” explained an optimistic Holman. “The last half against Anali and this tournament showed both Coach [Peter] Werbel and myself that we are capable of playing against some of the best teams in the state.”
Truckee played Golden Sierra this past Wednesday with no score available at press time.
The Wolverines’ next home game is this Saturday at Surprise Stadium against Quincy, beginning at noon.
While the boys’ team has been running itself rampant with games, the girls’ squad has been dealt a series of cancellations.
The Wolverine team has only played one game this season as the result of two season opening tournaments having been canceled due to lack of participating teams.
The one game they have played was a highly anticipated match against Incline.
The game resulted in a 2-2 tie.
Incline scored first on a penalty kick at the 15 minute mark.
Kristine Bena, a sophomore, assisted by Natalie Bergman, retaliated with a goal at around 39 minutes, just before halftime.
Truckee’s defense broke down in the second half and Incline capitalized, making the go-ahead score during the 65 minute mark.
Again, just before the buzzer, at the 79 minute, Becca Shook tied it up.
“We call it ‘unassisted’,” said Wolverine Head Coach Larry Young, “But that usually means that a player took it down the field and had an open shot. No. The ball was bouncing all over the place right near the goal, with people all around, and Becca just got to it and shot it through.”
Young cited the play of Bergman, saying that she “gave a tremendous effort at left forward.”
He also acknowledged Stacy Cook at right back and Leilani Mullen at the goal keeper position.
Incline had six accurate shots on goal, all of which were defensed by Mullen. The Wolverines managed 16 shots on goal, but were a lot less accurate, often being well wide.
The Truckee girls played a game on Wednesday against Reed (a 4A school that they defeated in the preseason) but the results were not available at press time.
The varsity squad’s next game is their debut at Surprise Stadium, where they hope to topple Quincy. The game is on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.
The coach and team are anxious for support in the stadium venue.
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The Barracuda Championship is set to tee off next week, bringing PGA golfers to Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood course for the second year in a row.