Truckee soccer teams shut out North Tahoe | SierraSun.com
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Truckee soccer teams shut out North Tahoe

Matt Brown
Sierra Sun sports editor
Courtesy photo by Rolland NeelandsSara Grossman (in red) scored two goals against North Tahoe, giving her a team-high 8 on the season.
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RENO (Oct. 29) ” The Truckee girls’ varsity soccer team (9-1-1, 6-1-1 Tahoe League) claimed first place in the Northern 3A Tahoe League with a 3-0 shutout win over rivals North Tahoe (6-2 Tahoe League) on Friday at North Valleys High School in Reno.

In a game that was supposed to be played on Oct. 26 at Truckee’s Surprise (football) Stadium, but was rescheduled due to inclement weather, the Wolverines did not let a lack of homefield advantage affect their intensity.

“We came out to prove a point,” said Truckee head coach Amy Valdivia, “and we wanted to win this game. We’ve been focused for it. We want to go into zones as the first place team (and No. 1 seed).”

Sophomore Sara Grossman scored in the 4th minute to stake Truckee to a 1-0 lead, and sophomore defender Emily Gannam chose an optimal time to score her first goal of the season in the 36th minute. Both assists were courtesy of senior Camille Gannam, and Truckee went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.

Noting that she had seen North Tahoe recover from a 3-0 halftime hole to beat Incline on Oct. 14, Valdivia wasn’t about to sit on the two-goal cushion. Even with a 2-0 lead to start the second half, the Wolverines attacked the Lakers’ goal like it was a tied game.

“We still wanted to put pressure on; we did not want to sit back defensively,” Valdivia said. “We stuck to our game plan. We passed around them; defensively our marking was tight, and our forward was making the offensive runs that we’ve been working on all season; and finally it clicked.”

Leading the attack was Grossman, who moved back into the forward position after a few games at midfielder. For much of the game, Grossman was the offensive catalyst, employing aggressive ball-handling and decisive shots-on-goal. Grossman’s work paid off again when she sent a nifty header, fed by teammate Whitney Hardy’s cross, into the net.

In the process, Grossman buried North Tahoe, helped Truckee avenge an earlier 1-0 loss to the Lakers on Sept. 16, and sent the Wolverines to the top of the Tahoe League standings. It was Grossman’s team-high eighth goal of the season.

The concern for North Tahoe wasn’t so much the loss, but the fact that they were clearly outhustled as a unit by the Wolverines, who appeared determined to reign supreme in the Tahoe League.

“We definitely didn’t play as hard as we could have, and it’s disappointing that we basically let them outplay us,” said senior Lakers’ captain Alec Drew. “They had better touches, better passing and better speed. Positively, we didn’t get down on ourselves. Usually, when we get shut down, we get frustrated.”

Said North Tahoe head coach Kristen Ylander, “I’m not sure why we weren’t up for this game. They just outhustled us quite a bit today; they’re playing a good possessions game, they’re playing fast and they’re bodying-up well.

But it’s all down to business now. You’re not going to get any second chances from here on out. As always, we’re looking forward to the playoffs.”

Truckee beat Sparks 10-0 on the road a day earlier to set up the first-place showdown with the Lakers.

Out of 11 games, Truckee goalie Mallory Sharp registered her ninth shutout of the season and has only given up two goals. Sharp wasn’t challenged often against the Lakers, and she gave recognition to her defense.

“They’re a pretty tough team, but my defense held them off well which helped me out a lot,” said the sophomore keeper. “(Since last game versus North Tahoe), we definitely improved in getting to the ball quicker, and we marked their man tighter.”

Laker Michelle Parker hobbled off the field in the second half with a knee injury, but she is expected to play in the Northern 3A regional playoffs.

On the Truckee injury front, the Wolverines learned that senior forward Jenna Lowrance is lost for the season due to a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Lowrance’s absence was one reason Grossman was back in the forward position. Lowrance, who led the team in scoring at the time of her injury, will be missed come playoff time.

“You cannot replace a player like Jenna,” Valdivia said. “It’s not just the things she does on the field, but it’s her leadership qualities off the field (that make her a great player). But on the other side, we have players that have shown they can step up. I wouldn’t be doing my job as a coach if one player out (of the lineup) was going to kill us.”

– Thursday, November 4, 2004

@ North Valleys H.S. (Reno) and Churchill County H.S. (Fallon)

GIRLS First Round

A – Spring Creek (#1 Humboldt) vs. Sparks (#4 Tahoe), 1 p.m. at Churchill County

B – North Tahoe (#2 Tahoe) vs. Dayton (#3 Humboldt), 11 a.m. at North Valleys

C – Lowry (#2 Humboldt) vs. Incline (#3 Tahoe), 11 a.m. at Churchill County

D – Truckee (#1 Tahoe) vs. Battle Mountain (#4 Humboldt), 3 p.m. at North Valleys

NOTE: Quarterfinal games times will be 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at both sites.

– Friday, November 5, 2004

@ North Valleys High School, Reno

GIRLS Semifinals

A-winner vs. B-winner, 2 p.m. at North Valleys

D-winner vs. C-winner, 4 p.m. at North Valleys

NOTE: Semifinal game times will be noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. (boys and girls).

RENO (Oct. 29) ” The Truckee Wolverines boys’ varsity soccer team wasn’t about to close the 2004 regular season without making a few overdue statements.

On Thursday (Oct. 28), Truckee (11-3 overall, 7-3 Tahoe League) avenged a 1-0 loss to Sparks earlier this month by blasting the Railroaders 5-1 and locking up second place in the Tahoe League. The teams had to play the latter game at Sparks because of the snow that remains on the ground in Truckee.

On Friday (Oct. 29), Truckee played a “home” game, but it was actually about 40 miles from home at North Valleys High School in Reno.

Again, weather prevented the game from being played at Truckee’s Surprise Stadium, but that didn’t stop Truckee from downing rivals North Tahoe (9-1 Tahoe League), 2-0.

The Wolverines settled in nicely at their home-away-from-home; immediately, in fact.

It took Eric Dita just 13 seconds to latch on to the opening kickoff, skirt through a few Lakers defenders and launch a line-drive off his left foot that zipped by goalie Michele Basile into the upper corner of the net.

“This game was insignificant, I guess, but it feels good to finally beat our rivals,” Dita said after the game. “I think on their home turf it was a different game. It was a lot more intimidating (because of the many fans).”

On Sept. 16, the Lakers downed Truckee 2-1 to begin a nine-game winning streak in Tahoe League play that came full circle against Truckee. This time, Truckee prevailed.

“For a game that really didn’t matter at all, it really mattered a lot,” said Truckee head coach Rob Curtis. “We came out hard; scoring a goal in 13 seconds really helps your cause. That’s the fastest one I can recall. That’s like starting with a goal advantage.”

After Dita put one in before either team could get comfortable on their respective benches, Truckee continued to pressure the goal in the first half, but the teams headed into halftime with Truckee up by one.

“Most of the first half, I was comfortable with our possession and our momentum,” Curtis said.

The Lakers looked poised to score in the second half, setting up a few good opportunities, but failing to place the ball in the net. The intensity was there, but the breaks weren’t.

“In the first part of the second half, they actually seized momentum for a while,” Curtis said. “We got a few breaks in there, but you run hard, you work hard and try hard, and breaks tend to go your way.”

Basile was injured in the second half when Truckee’s Ramiro Aguilar charged hard at the net and caught Basile’s shoulder with his cleats.

With Basile off the field, Dita snuck a second goal by the North Tahoe defense and gave his teammates a more comfortable lead. Truckee goalie Clayton Bena used his height advantage to snatch a few crosses and snuff out a few promising Lakers’ scoring opportunities.

North Tahoe head coach Bert Alcaraz wasn’t concerned with the loss and felt his team would step up for the crucial games of the season.

“It wasn’t that critical for us as a team because we already had the No. 1 seed,” Alcaraz said. “We care (about losing the undefeated league record), but it wasn’t that critical. I’d rather lose now than in the playoffs. I can guarantee you the playoffs are going to be totally different because we have to go harder.”

Key players missing for the Lakers due to injury were captain Sam Fahrner, who has a pulled tendon in his knee, and Jordan Holzer. BC Lampman didn’t play because of an “internal disciplinary action,” Alcaraz said. He said Fahrner and Lampman will play in the next game, but Holzer may not be available until the state championship if North Tahoe makes it that far.

One thing neither coach had to worry about was pumping their players up for one of Northern Nevada’s most equal-fought, dramatic rivalries.

“For a bunch of high school boys who, sometimes it’s hard to get their attention, these are the types of games they come in pretty well focused,” Curtis said.

Said Alcaraz, “It’s always an intense game.”

– Thursday, November 4, 2004

@ North Valleys H.S. (Reno) and Churchill County H.S. (Fallon)

BOYS First Round

A – Spring Creek (#1 Humboldt) vs. Incline (#4 Tahoe), 3:00 p.m. at Churchill County

B – Truckee (#2 Tahoe) vs. Battle Mountain (#3 Humboldt), 1:00 p.m. at North Valleys

C – Lowry (#2 Humboldt) vs. Sparks (#3 Tahoe), 9:00 a.m. at Churchill County

D – North Tahoe (#1 Tahoe) vs. Dayton (#4 Humboldt), 9:00 a.m. at North Valleys

NOTE: Quarterfinal games times will be 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at both sites.

– Friday, November 5, 2004

@ North Valleys High School, Reno

BOYS Semifinals

A-winner vs. B-winner, 12:00 p.m. at North Valleys

D-winner vs. C-winner, 6:00 p.m. at North Valleys


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