Truckee soccer | Girls end regular season on winning note
Team League Overall Pts
xSouth Tahoe 15-0-1 18-2-1 46
xTruckee 11-1-2 15-3-2 35
xSpring Creek 10-4-2 12-3-2 32
xLowry 8-6-2 9-7-3 26
Elko 6-6-4 9-13-5 22
Fallon 6-8-2 9-12-2 20
Sparks 5-10-1 5-12-1 16
Fernley 2-14 3-16-3 6
Dayton 0-15 1-16 0
x — clinched playoff berth
The weather was cold and wet. The footing was slick. But none of that affected the Truckee girls soccer team from powering out of the regular season.
The Wolverines took care of business on their home turf in the rain and snow, as they eked out a 2-1 win over Elko on Friday and rolled to a 6-1 win over Spring Creek on senior farewell Saturday.
The pair of victories cemented the No. 2 playoff seed for Truckee (11-1-2), which will host the Northern Division I-A regional tournament at Riverview Sports Park this Friday and Saturday.
Nothing came easily against Elko (6-6-4), which needed consecutive road wins against Truckee and first-place South Tahoe (15-0-1) to possibly earn a postseason berth.
Playing through an intermittent rain that worsened in the second half, Truckee jumped out to an early lead in the ninth minute with a goal by senior Daisy Rivera, assisted by Marcelle Reynaud. The Wolverines carried the 1-0 advantage into the half.
The slim lead did not feel safe, however, and the Indians proved as much in the 64th minute when senior captain Brook Pawelek drilled a free kick from 35 yards out to knot the score.
With a renewed sense of urgency, Truckee picked up its intensity and began a relentless attack on the Elko goal. Shots by Rivera, Reynaud, Nichole Graham and Zareli Villa narrowly missed their marks or were gobbled up by Elko goalie Hailee Simpson.
“Their goalie came up big,” said Truckee coach Travis Spencer. “She played a great game, and that kept them in it.”
Just when it seemed the Wolverines would have to settle for a tie, Reynaud elevated a cross from the right wing. The ball grazed off the fingertips of Simpson’s leaping reach, straight to a well-positioned Rivera, who headed it into the goal from point-blank range.
Less than a minute after the Wolverines celebrated their go-ahead score, the official’s whistle sounded over the rain-soaked field. Game over.
The rainstorm turned to snow overnight, coating the Surprise Stadium field. Much of the snow was removed or had melted by game time, however, and the sun even peaked through the clouds between periods of light snowfall.
Fresh off their senior farewell ceremony, the Wolverines came out sharp as they connected passes and controlled the midfield anchored by Shannon Cardoza and Lizzie Larkins.
The goals did not come quickly, though, as the Spartans (10-4-1) — who had already earned the No. 3 playoff seed and played the Wolverines to a tie in their first meeting — employed an offside trap that continually caught Truckee forwards offside in the first half. When Truckee players did beat the trap to create legal runs, they misfired or Spring Creek goalie Jasmin Giere made the save.
“The offside trap — they live and die by it,” Spencer said.
Finally, in the 30th minute, Truckee senior Lynde Tucker found herself racing toward the goal with a defender at her side before she slotted a low ball into the side netting, giving the Wolverines a 1-0 lead entering the half.
The goals started flowing in the second half as Truckee repeatedly beat Spring Creek’s trap, and was patient on its one-on-one opportunities against Giere. All five goals came on one-on-one runs. Graham scored in the 44th minute, Villa in the 65th, Rivera in the 66th, Tessa Manahan in the 74th and Villa again in the 75th.
Spring Creek senior Heather Craig was rewarded for a hustle play in the 77th minute when she beat a Truckee defender to put the Spartans on the board.
“The first half we did pretty well. The second half I pulled all of my starters,” said Spring Creek coach Kami Hernandez, who explained that with the No. 3 playoff seeds already locked in, she wanted to prevent players from getting injured or receiving red cards. Three Spring Creek players were yellow carded Saturday.
The second-seeded Wolverines will host the Northern Division I-A regional tournament at Truckee Riverview Sports Park this Friday and Saturday. Truckee opens with a semifinal match against third-seeded Spring Creek on Friday at 3 p.m. on Field 2.
Top-seeded South Tahoe and fourth-seeded Lowry face off in the other semifinal Friday at 3 p.m. on Field 1. The semifinal winners meet for the regional championship Saturday at 2 p.m. on Field 1.
The top two teams move on to state, which is scheduled for Nov. 14-15 in Henderson, Nev.