Truckee at North Tahoe soccer | Wolverines get best of Lakers |

Truckee at North Tahoe soccer | Wolverines get best of Lakers

Sylas Wright/Sierra SunTruckee's Kelsi Decker and North Tahoe's Mago Olivares converge on a ball near midfield during the Wolverines' 3-0 win on Wednesday.

TAHOE CITY and#8212; Things were going so well for the home team and#8212; until that first goal.

The host Laker girls scrapped toe-to-toe with the three-time defending champion Wolverines for the opening 35 minutes Wednesday. But when Truckee broke the scoreless tie in the final 5 minutes of the first half, the Lakers never recovered en route to a 3-0 loss.

and#8220;We definitely lost a lot of momentum after that first goal,and#8221; said North Tahoe head coach Jon Rockwood. and#8220;We’ve talked a lot about picking our heads up after going down by a goal, but that one had a particularly stinging impact.and#8221;

Shauna Day was credited with the first score, which she sent to the front of the Laker goal, where it deflected off a North Tahoe defender and into the netting for a 1-0 Truckee lead. Just one minute later, Day blasted a hard shot past North Tahoe goalie Kami Abi-Nader unassisted from 20 yards to push the lead to 2-0.

and#8220;I thought we were playing as well as we’ve ever played in the first 30 minutes. At that point I was looking forward to the second half,and#8221; Rockwood said.

Truckee added a third goal 5 minutes into the second half, as Kaylee Neill received a pass from Kelsey Porter before getting past a defender with a deft move and burying the shot past goalie Angela Wood. It was a rough half for Wood, a freshman who had her hand stepped on while making a diving save, then was kneed in the jaw on another save. She left the game but was in good spirits afterward.

and#8220;We started slow in the first half. It was not our best half,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Amy Valdivia. and#8220;But North Tahoe came out hard and with intensity. I don’t think we were prepared for that.and#8221;

Truckee controlled the game after the midway point, taking nine shots on goal to the Lakers’ zero. The Wolverines out-shot the Lakers 22-6 in the game.

and#8220;I felt like in the second half we really picked it up and started playing Truckee soccer,and#8221; said senior midfielder Kennedy Power. and#8220;We were connecting a lot better and communicating. We pretty much picked up our whole game.and#8221;

North Tahoe had its chances early, none of which came closer to finding the back of the net than a shot by Mago Olivares that hit off the crossbar in the first 10 minutes.

and#8220;As a coach you share the frustrations of the team,and#8221; Rockwood said, and#8220;and it’s frustrating to see the same result against Truckee. and#8230; But I was happy with North Tahoe’s play today. I thought it was a better played game than the 1-0 loss previously (on Sept. 16). Every player on the team played as hard as they could. I’m proud of them.and#8221;

The league-leading Wolverines improved to 9-0-1 in the Sierra League while the Lakers, who are in a fight for the fourth and final playoff seed, dropped to 2-4-3. After Thursday’s games (which ended after deadline), North Tahoe has two more regular-season games and Truckee only one.

UP NEXT: North Tahoe hosts Dayton on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and ends its regular season at Incline on Thursday, Oct. 28. Truckee wraps up its regular season with a home game against Dayton on Thursday.

Like Truckee coach Hernan Valdivia said, and#8220;It’s always a tough win at North Tahoe.and#8221;

And it was.

Despite the 3-0 final score, the Lakers played their longtime soccer rivals evenly for the majority of one half, and much of the other, in a makeup game Wednesday on Dollar Hill.

But Truckee sophomore Jesse Fereira scored a pair of nifty, one-on-one goals late in the contest to ice the win in front of a spirited North Tahoe crowd.

and#8220;Obviously they’re much improved since the last time we played them,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Hernan Valdivia, whose Wolverines defeated the Lakers 4-0 in Truckee on Sept. 16. and#8220;And they always play well in front of their home crowd.and#8221;

That was the case Wednesday, particularly early, when the Lakers came out with energy and threatened deep in Truckee territory on a number of occasions. Twice North Tahoe shots bounced directly off the goal’s crossbar, first on a blast by Ashton Williams in the opening 10 minutes, and again on a 25-yard free kick by Hugo Moreno in the final minutes of the half.

By that point the Wolverines had already capitalized on one of their scoring chances, as Michael Brixey gathered a cross from Colten Rodrigue in the 23rd minute and buried it for a 1-0 Truckee lead.

and#8220;I thought we played well in the first half,and#8221; said North Tahoe head coach Beto Alcaraz. and#8220;The second half, I don’t know. I think the second goal took the wind out of our sails.

and#8220;But don’t count us out yet,and#8221; the coach continued. and#8220;We’re going to be better than this. The boys understand what it takes. All I can ask is that they continue to work hard.and#8221;

In an equally hard-fought second half in which yellow cards started to mount on both sides and#8212; including two yellows, or a soft red, against North Tahoe senior captain Zach Rickenbach and#8212; Fereira struck with his first goal in the 61st minute.

He collected a through ball along the sideline near midfield and raced all the way to the goal, where he beat North Tahoe goalie Trevor Trimm for the score. Fereira followed with another goal in similar fashion in the final 2 minutes of the game.

and#8220;They were just great balls from the back and midfield that put me through,and#8221; Fereira explained. and#8220;They allowed me to get through the defense, and I was able to get good shots off.and#8221;

Truckee improved to 8-2 in Sierra League play while North Tahoe fell to 3-4-2. The Lakers currently are holding the fourth and final playoff seed.

and#8220;We just need to keep our heads up and maintain our focus,and#8221; Alcaraz said.

UP NEXT: North Tahoe hosts Dayton on Tuesday and ends its regular season at Incline on Thursday, Oct. 28. Truckee hosts Dayton to end the regular season on Thursday. North Tahoe played at South Tahoe on Thursday afternoon, while Truckee played at Sparks. Both games ended after deadline.

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