Truckee girls soccer on the rebound |

Truckee girls soccer on the rebound

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunTruckee High senior Lauren O'Neil runs drills at practice last week. O'Neil is one of three team captains.

With five state championships under their belt, the Wolverines always figure to be in the playoff mix come November.

Last year the Northern 3A girls soccer title was in the bag, as good as clinched by the way Truckee charged through the state tournament.

Then came the title game and North Shore rival Incline.

The Highlanders were on their game, the Wolverines not so much, and Incline dealt Truckee a crushing, 2-0, defeat to end its season of promise.

“We were really disappointed because we worked so hard all season,” Lauren O’Neil, a senior defender and co-team captain, said of the blow.

“It’s OK,” she continued on a brighter note. “Well get ’em this year.”

If the Wolverines do manage to get over the hump ” they last won state in 2002 ” they’ll do so with a substantially different lineup after losing seven seniors.

“Right now we’re just trying to get to know each other, mostly. We lost a lot of seniors this year,” said O’Neil, one of four Wolverines voted to the first-team all-league last season.

The players are also getting to know first-year head coach Nikki Gerrardi, who said she’s pleased thus far with what she’s seen from her team.

“We’ve got a lot of depth,” Gerrardi said. “We’ve got really talented upperclassmen and a lot of talented underclassmen as well.

“It’s a fun team to coach because we’ve got such a great bench, and they’re all good kids.”

Aside from losing the seniors, the bench may be most altered from a year ago, as Truckee now boasts a roster of 23 because it dropped its girls junior varsity program.

Of those 23, nine are freshman and three sophomores. Seventeen of those girls travel to away games, O’Neil said.

The younger players are a welcome addition, said Katie Dill, a junior striker who earned second-team all-league recognition last year and now serves as one of three captains along with junior Addie Shaffer and O’Neil.

“With how many new freshman we have, we’ve gained a lot of good new players,” she said, “so I’m stoked about that.”

Across the board, Gerrardi said, the Wolverines “have a lot of speed and good tactical skills.

“Almost everyone on the team plays club soccer, so it’s nice to start off with that skill,” the coach said.

Truckee plays at North Tahoe on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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