Truckee soccer: Boys draw even with Vikings | SierraSun.com

Truckee soccer: Boys draw even with Vikings

Anthony Gentile
agentile@tahoedailytribune.com
Truckee's Manuel Sarabia, Joel Garcia and Oscar Ingnez (left to right) celebrate a goal by Garcia during the Wolverines' 2-2 tie at South Tahoe on Wednesday.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

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Truckee is scheduled to host Lowry on Friday at 4 p.m. before playing at Sparks on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

In the first meeting between the South Tahoe and Truckee boys soccer teams this season, the rivals ultimately couldn’t be separated. The Vikings and Wolverines played to a 2-2 tie Wednesday at South Tahoe Middle School, a result that keeps South Tahoe undefeated in league play.

“It boiled down to two teams playing a good game, back and forth,” Truckee coach Casey Eberhardt said. “They had their chances and we had our chances.”

South Tahoe (3-0-4 league) struck first but trailed 2-1 at halftime. The Vikings jumped out to a lead in the eighth minute when a cross from Cristian Ramos found Brandon Estrada in the box — Estrada’s header hit off the underside of the crossbar and in to make it 1-0.

Truckee ( 4-2-1) answered later in the opening half with a pair of goals to go ahead 2-1. In the 19th minute, a strike from Jose Gonzalez from 25 yards out beat an outstretched Antony Lopez and tied the match.

Ten minutes after pulling even, the Wolverines grabbed the lead. Manny Sarabia took on three South Tahoe defenders just outside the box and flicked a through-ball that freed Oscar Ingnez — the midfielder sent a low cross toward the net that Joel Gomez put away to make it 2-1.

“It was cool to see the boys bounce back and come from behind after going down early,” Eberhardt said.

The Vikings trailed by that margin at halftime, and looked to get back to possession-oriented style of play. Chances were hard to come by for both teams at the start of the second half as Truckee clung to its one-goal lead.

“We talked about playing our game,” South Tahoe coach Eder Vazquez said. “That’s basically the mentality we came out with in the second half — and it paid off.”

Midway through the half, South Tahoe drew a foul outside the right edge of the penalty box, and converted the chance with a picturesque strike. Gabi Martinez fired a shot that curled into the top left corner of the net — the 25-yard free kick tied the match 2-2 in the 64th minute.

“I hit it and saw it in midair — everything was slow motion,” Martinez said. “I knew it was going over the keeper and in the goal — I just waited for it to hit the net.”

Both teams had chances after Martinez’s goal, but neither could break the deadlock. Truckee’s best chance to score came with two minutes left — a through-ball created a breakaway for Alex Lopez, but South Tahoe’s Chuy Vazquez thwarted the threat with a slide tackle in the box.

“We had them on their heels toward the end, and we just couldn’t finish,” Eberhardt said.

With one match left in the first round of league play, both South Tahoe and Truckee are in playoff position in a wide open Northern Division I-A. The Vikings and Wolverines sit third and fourth, respectively, behind Sparks (5-0-1) and Elko (5-1-1). Lowry (3-2-1) and Spring Creek (3-3-1) are just outside the top four.

“Looking at the results around the league, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Eberhardt said. “It’s an interesting year.”