Truckee soccer | Girls fall a goal short against Incline |

Truckee soccer | Girls fall a goal short against Incline

Sylas Wright / Sierra SunKaylee Neill passes in traffic during the Wolverines' 2-1 loss to Incline on Tuesday.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; If the first play of Tuesday’s Incline at Truckee girls’ soccer game was any kind of presage, the Wolverines were in trouble.

As it turned out, Truckee’s opening kickoff and#8212; a backward pass that was immediately stolen by an alert Incline forward and#8212; was, in fact, a bad sign of things to come.

From the start Incline established itself as the more intense, hungry team, and it paid off with a 2-1 win the second meeting of the season between the Sierra League foes. Truckee won the first game in Incline by the same score.

The Wolverines are now 5-2 and currently in second place in the league standings, while the third-place Highlanders are nipping at their heels at 5-3. South Tahoe (8-0) remains undefeated atop the standings.

and#8220;We came out really slow, and that set a bad tone for the rest of the game,and#8221; said Truckee head coach Katie Jamison. and#8220;We had our shining moments, but we couldn’t get it in the net to compensate from the slow start.and#8221;

After the kickoff, the Wolverines settled down and both teams traded pressuring each other’s goal. There were several near goals in the opening 20 minutes from both sides.

Finally after 28 minutes, Incline broke through with the first score as Haley Derr sent a corner kick directly in front of the goal, where sophomore midfielder Kerri Tonking kneed it out of the air and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

The goal seemed to fuel the Highlanders, who controlled the rest of the half by winning 50-50 balls and hustling to intercept passes, which disrupted Truckee’s normally solid possession game.

The Wolverines picked up the pace after the half, but they still found the goal to be an elusive target as Incline’s speedy defense continually thwarted runs. Truckee also was called offsides on at least a half dozen occasions, denying several golden opportunities, while Incline sophomore goalie Sara Wright played lights out in the goal to prevent a number of scoring chances.

and#8220;My main goal is to intimidate,and#8221; said Wright, explaining how she stopped several Truckee attempts by aggressively charging toward the ball instead of waiting for the action to come to her. and#8220;I like to charge up like that as much as possible.and#8221;

Truckee received a shot in the arm midway through the second half when senior forward, and reigning Offensive Player of the Year, Shauna Day entered the game. Jamison said she was nursing a pulled quad muscle. Day evened the score in the 67th minute, blasting a line-drive shot into the back of the net from about 25 yards out.

and#8220;The second half was much better,and#8221; Jamison said. and#8220;We started to play our game a little bit, and that changed the tone.and#8221;

The celebration in the home stands did not last long, however, as three minutes later Tonking sent a long shot off a rebound toward a vacated Truckee net after goalie Gina Bauerline had come out to block a shot. Her second goal of the game gave the Highlanders a 2-1 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the contest.

The Wolverines pushed forward in an effort to score the equalizer, and they may have if it weren’t for two more saves by Wright. On the final one, Maison Power lofted a high-arcing shot toward the upper reaches of the goal, but Wright leaped and punched the ball over the goal for yet another save.

and#8220;I was just really excited about everyone stepping it up to the level of Truckee,and#8221; Wright said. and#8220;We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we came out and totally dominated the game. Everyone’s spirits are lifted up, and I couldn’t be more excited.and#8221;

Jamison complimented the play of midfielders Sierra Castillo and Olivia Duner, as well as senior forward Serena Dill, who nearly scored several times only to have shots blocked or miss their mark.

On the play that led to Incline’s second goal late in the game, Truckee junior defender Sarah Williams suffered a neck injury in a collision and was taken away on a stretcher.

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