Truckee soccer: Boys, girls win back-to-back state championships
Faith Lutheran’s boys and girls soccer teams collectively beat the snot out of the Southern 3A in 2008. But as the Crusaders have learned over the years, the Northern 3A powers are a whole different animal.
Truckee proved the point most recently, sweeping through the NIAA 3A State Boys and Girls Championships in Mesquite this past weekend to add two more titles to the school’s collection.
That makes seven apiece for the boys and girls ” both Nevada state records ” and two consecutively for both teams. The boys’ title marked the third in four years.
“I’m totally satisfied. I’m so proud of the boys,” said Truckee head coach Hernan Valdivia, whose No. 1-seeded Wolverines from the North defeated No. 1 Southern seed Faith Lutheran 2-0 on Saturday for the championship. “They worked hard, and everybody put in the effort. They’re a great group.”
Entering the title game, the Faith Lutheran boys were 16-1-1 and had outscored opponents 111-2, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. Faith Lutheran’s girls, also seeded No. 1 from the South, were 17-1 and had outscored opponents 92-2 entering State.
The Wolverines put a stop to that, as the Truckee girls followed the boys with a 5-3 win over the Crusaders in Saturday’s championship.
“These girls are just amazing. They set the goal at the beginning of the season to be state champions, and they worked their tails off to get there,” said Truckee head coach Amy Valdivia. “They deserve everything they got this year.”
The Truckee girls finished a perfect 20-0 against the 3A and 24-2 overall, while the Truckee boys posted an 18-0-1 record against the 3A and 24-1-1 overall. The only 3A team to manage a tie against the Truckee boys was Incline, which lost 1-0 to Faith Lutheran in Friday’s semifinal.
Led by a five-goal performance from senior captain Max Brixey, the Wolverines blasted No. 2 Southern seed Boulder City 11-0 in their state semifinal Friday.
It was a strange day for soccer, according to reports, as a strong wind blew steadily from north to south ” the same way the fields are situated.
“It was howling,” Hernan Valdivia said of the wind. “Every half was different because the team with the wind (at its back) always had the distinct advantage.”
While every other team struggled to score on the one goal, the Truckee boys tallied six goals into the wind in its win over Boulder City.
According to Mesquite Local News reports, Truckee goals came in the following order: Michael Brixey, Max Brixey, Michael Brixey, Max Brixey, Salvador Tejeda, Max Brixey, Max Brixey, Egberto Spricigo, Raul Cardenas, Robby Heck, and Max Brixey.
On Saturday, Max Brixey scored Truckee’s first goal ” his sixth of the tournament ” with about 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Hernan Valdivia said. Brixey also had three assists in the two games.
Tejeda followed with a goal shortly after Brixey to lock down the win.
“We were controlling most of the game,” Hernan Valdivia said. “Our shots were just off-line or straight to the goalie. We just couldn’t find the back of the net. …
“I think the whole team started peaking at the right moment,” the coach continued. “We played our two best games (consecutively) when it mattered most.”
Truckee’s girls shut out No. 2 Southern seed Pahrump Valley 3-0 in Friday’s windy semifinal.
“That was miserable,” Amy Valdivia said of the wind. “You couldn’t even hear. We gave up trying to yell at each other. But we pulled through it.”
Junior Stephanie O’Neil scored Truckee’s first goal early in the second half, when the Wolverines switched sides to the southern goal. Sophomore Jordan Tollison followed with a second Truckee score and sophomore Kelsi Decker kicked in the final goal.
On Saturday, Truckee scored three straight goals after falling behind 1-0 and took a 5-2 lead into the half.
Senior Katie Dill put the Wolverines on the board with one of her two goals in the game, while Decker also scored twice and Mikaela Arnstein once. O’Neil assisted two of the goals.
As if the state titles were not enough, the Truckee boys and girls each won the academic state championship for highest collective grade-point averages. The Truckee girls had a near straight-A 3.90 GPA while the boys came in with a 3.3 GPA.
“They take that stuff seriously, which is good,” Amy Valdivia said of academics. “But (the academic award) was overshadowed by the big trophy.”
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.