Truckee soccer: Girls edge Incline to advance to state championship |

Truckee soccer: Girls edge Incline to advance to state championship

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun

SPARKS and#8211; The Truckee girls eked out a 1-0 win against Sierra League rival Incline in a hard-fought 3A state semifinal Friday at Golden Eagle Regional Park.

The top-seeded Wolverines will face Spring Creek and#8211; which defeated White Pine 4-0 in its semifinal and#8211; in the state championship Saturday at Damonte Ranch High School in south Reno. Game time is 2 p.m.

On Friday, Truckee took a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute on what Incline head coach John Paganelli perhaps best described as a and#8220;flukyand#8221; goal.

As Truckee freshman Olivia Duner tried to fire off a shot amid heavy traffic in the Highlander box, an Incline player inadvertently knocked the ball into her own goal while trying to clear it.

and#8220;It was a lucky goal; just a fluky goal,and#8221; Paganelli said. and#8220;It (the game) could have gone either way and#8230; But Truckee did a good job. Hopefully they win (Saturday) and represent the North.and#8221;

Momentum swung back and forth throughout the second half, with neither team converting on a number of scoring opportunities.

Credit fierce defense and goalkeeping on both sides, as Incline goalie Sasha Severance denied a number of near-scores with her aggressive play, while, in the final minutes of regulation, Truckee goalie Jesse McGinley thwarted a breakaway by Tori O’Connor with a clutch, charging save.

and#8220;It wasn’t super pretty, but when it gets to playoffs, we’ll take any win we can get,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Amy Valdivia.

and#8220;I think we were just a little off,and#8221; the coach continued. and#8220;Our touches were off. But you’ve got to give Incline credit. I don’t think we matched their intensity until the end. It’s the best I’ve seen them play all year.and#8221;

With the semifinal win Truckee remains perfect against the Northern 3A, at 18-0, while improving to 20-1-1 overall. Friday’s win was Truckee’s third of the season against the Highlanders, with the first two coming by scores of 3-1 and 3-0 during the regular season.

and#8220;I don’t think we underestimated them,and#8221; said Truckee sophomore Mikaela Arnstein, and#8220;but we came out slow and didn’t play our game until the second half and#8230;

and#8220;I think it was more physical at times (than past games). They always come out hard against us. They’re a good team.and#8221;

The Wolverines will try to win a third straight state championship on Saturday, and eighth total. They’ve defeated Spring Creek twice this season, including a 3-1 win in the Northern 3A final last week.

and#8220;We just need to come out strong,and#8221; Arnstein said about the title game. and#8220;We have to expect every team to be hard.and#8221;

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