Truckee boys soccer team wins clash of rivals
Dollar Hill was converted into a battlefield Tuesday night, as North Tahoe’s boys soccer team hosted Truckee in front of a gargantuan crowd that was thick along the entire sideline.
As has come to be expected from two of the top teams in the state, the game was fairly even. Despite the 3-1 Truckee victory, play was fairly matched throughout the contest.
The first 30 minutes of the game where fast paced, physical and even, with dynamite chances on both sides.
It was North Tahoe who dented the net first, but the goal was called back on an offside.
Shots ricocheted off the crossbar, both goalkeepers showcased brilliant saves and the ball pinged around the pitch.
It was Truckee sophomore Max Brixey who posted the first point, streaking through North Tahoe’s box in the 30th minute to pop a nicely placed header down off the Laker goal line just inches from the post. North Tahoe keeper Michele Basile did well to get his hand on the shot, but it was ultimately unstoppable.
The battle raged on for the remainder of the half, with the only other legitimate opportunity coming off an Eric Holman rip from distance, which glanced off of Truckee’s near post.
Holman struck again five minutes into the second half, but this time he made good on his chance. The senior midfielder skied up above the Wolverine defense to power down a header off a corner kick, tying things up with a half to play.
Only about 20 minutes played out before Truckee was awarded a penalty for a physical play on a diagonal run through the box.
It was junior Emmanuel Sarabia who stepped up to the spot to put away the kick high and to Basile’s right.
Down a goal, North Tahoe fought hard and the chances kept coming, but as the half wore on, desperation set in and the brilliant ball movement capabilities of North Tahoe gave way to more frequent long balls and ambitious runs.
Truckee junior Victor Islas eventually broke North Tahoe’s back.
With five minutes to play, Islas made a beautiful run to collect a well-timed through ball, leaving the junior forward all alone running at Basile, who made a good effort but was no match for Islas’ deft move around the senior North Tahoe keeper.
“There’s no excuses,” head Laker coach Beto Alcaraz said. “They played better than us.”
Alcaraz acknowledged his team’s potential and moments of brilliance, but cited details and consistency as his squad’s major hurdle.
“It’s going to take a lot of hard work if we’re going to get to state,” Alcaraz said.
Truckee head coach Hernan Valdivia was very pleased with his team, especially with the intensity they brought.
“I’m happy we were able to play with intensity to match North Tahoe,” Valdivia said.
With hundreds of fans lining the field, chanting and jeering Truckee’s players, along with Laker players coming out hard and showcasing the physical nature of a true rivalrous soccer game, Valdivia was happy about where the victory leaves his team so early in the season.
“You never really know where you stand until you play at North Tahoe,” Valdivia said. … “It was our first real test, and the team came together well. They came out to play.
“I think they are playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. They want to prove that last year was no fluke.”
North Tahoe’s next match is at home today against Colfax at 4 p.m. Truckee travels to Spring Creek tomorrow for a 5 p.m. game.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.