Wolverines avenge loss to Incline
Truckee’s boys soccer team showed an ability to come back from behind on Tuesday evening at Surprise Stadium.
After a slow first half during which Truckee gave up two goals and its initial lead, the Wolverines came back in the second half to dominate the visiting Incline Highlanders for an eventual 4-2 victory.
Truckee, which avenged a 1-0 loss to Incline on Sept. 19, is now 5-2-1 in the Northern 3A Sierra League and 17-5-3 overall.
After 15 minutes of back-and-forth play, it was sophomore Salvador Tejeda who collected a nice switched ball and hammered a low shot into Incline’s far post side netting to put Truckee up 1-0.
The lead only held for five minutes, as Incline’s Chomal Sanchez tied things up with a nice run across the 18-yard box and a neat little cutback shot into the right side of the Truckee goal.
The goal inspired the Highlanders, as two minutes later Sanchez snuck another one just over the goal line on a corner kick scramble. Truckee’s junior goalkeeper Will Akers made an initial save that sent him falling back into his own net. Akers also made the second save, but was still back in his goal, thus resulting in an Incline goal and a lead 2-1.
The first half ended with Truckee down a goal on its home field but regaining a bit of a foothold as far as the flow of play by retaining possession and moving the ball around, forcing Incline to chase into the close of the half.
It was as if an entirely different Truckee side took the pitch for the second half. The Wolverines moved the ball around, were sharp and got stuck in on defense.
With 25 minutes to play in the game, sophomore midfielder Max Brixey collected a through ball and neatly dribbled around Incline’s goalkeeper to tie up the game.
Six minutes later it was Tejeda again, pounding in the go-ahead goal off a rebounded shot from a great effort and run by Brixey.
The 3-2 lead was not quite enough for junior forward Al Virrey, however. With 10 minutes left on the scoreboard, Virrey flicked on a corner kick with his head, which just seemed to roll past an outrushing defense and into the far post to put Truckee up 4-2.
The game closed out with the Wolverines controlling the flow outright, and Incline’s side looking dejected and beaten.
“That was a huge second half for us,” Truckee head coach Hernan Valdivia said after the game. “Not just the win but for us coming together as a team.”
According to Valdivia, his team has been in a bit of a slump lately, and the second half showed their ability to play as a unit.
The boys’ pre-game ritual, “The Caveman,” was outlawed by Valdivia, who said a flashy warm up ritual like the “Ooga Booga” chant and dance could only be performed if it was backed up by a stellar performance.
However, “The Caveman” was in full effect before the Incline game.
According to the Truckee coach, cohesiveness and team play are what makes his boys play well, much more so than a pre-game dance.
“When we play together as a unit, I honestly don’t think there is anybody as good as us,” Valdivia said.
Truckee is currently tied with North Tahoe for first place in league. North Tahoe faces Incline on Saturday, and depending on the result, Truckee will play either the third- or fourth-place team from the Northern 3A Sagebrush League in the first round of postseason competition.