TRUCKEE, Calif. — Fans clad in Truckee red and Incline green stretched an entire sideline for the Wolverines' first official games at their newly constructed soccer field Tuesday.
“It's great,” Truckee senior co-captain Jesse Fereira said of the field, which received a major facelift over the summer in a large volunteer effort. “It's way better than (our situation) last year.”
Both Truckee teams performed well for the occasion, as the girls jumped out to an early lead and held on for a 3-2 win while the boys notched their 14th shutout of the season with a 5-0 victory.
The girls played what seemed like two separate games, with the Wolverines winning the first one and the Highlanders taking the second. In reality, they were two separate halves, and Truckee's 3-0 advantage in the first half proved too much for Incline to overcome, despite a valiant effort.
“The first half was beautiful,” said Truckee head coach Katie Jamison. “The second half was dangerous, especially toward the end. But overall I thought the girls played well. We played three games this past weekend, and as much as I'd like to say that doesn't take its toll, it did. The girls kind of wore down in the second half.”
In just the second minute of the contest, junior forward Quinn Parker intercepted an intended clear-out from the Incline defense and slipped a low shot past the diving reach of Incline goalie Sarah Wright.
Seven minutes later, Truckee's Kaylee Neill crossed a ball to Melissa Cardoza on a breakaway, and Cardoza finished for a 2-0 lead within the first 10 minutes.
Truckee added a third goal of the half in the 38th minute, as Parker found a small pocket of space between two Incline defenders and sent another low shot past Wright, this time to the goalie's left.
“We need to get over our early mistakes. We gave them every one of those goals,” said Incline head coach Tom Canino. “That's not to say the Truckee girls didn't play well. I thought they handled and moved the ball well. But if we didn't make so many mistakes, it would have been a different ballgame.”
The Highlanders came out of the half looking energized as they steadily began pressuring the Truckee defense, which for 20 minutes bent but never broke. Incline's relentless attack finally paid off in the 60th minute, however, as freshman Vanessa Andrade received a through ball from Hannah Johnson and blasted a shot that was nicely blocked by Truckee goalie Cassandra Sawyer. But Elise Nelson, who followed the play, was there to clean up the rebound, cutting the lead to 3-1.
Incline added a second goal in the final minutes of the game when Haley Derr crossed a ball to Andrade directly in front of the goal, and the freshman buried it into the back of the net.
“Incline definitely was getting to the ball first,” Jamison said of the second half, adding that the Wolverines started losing possession, unlike the first half, and falling out of formation. “They (the Highlanders) did not have a lot of opportunities in front of the net, but they took advantage of the ones they had.”
Truckee improved to 13-3-1 overall and 2-0-1 in Mount Rose League play, while Incline fell to 10-4 overall and 1-2 in league.
The Wolverines controlled the boys game from the onset, scoring three goals in the first half off of corner kicks and four of the five goals in the game.
“That's certainly not the way we wanted it to go,” said Canino, who coaches both Incline teams. “We gave up four corner-kick goals, so obviously that's something we'll need to emphasize in practice.”
The first goal came in the 14th minute when Jose Sarabia lofted a corner kick directly in front of the goal, where Incline keeper Andrew Bessette tried to punch it out of the air and missed. That left an open shot from point-blank range for Fereira, who capitalized with his 11th goal in the last four games.
“I thought the first half we came out a little flat; we didn't have high energy,” said Truckee head coach Casey Eberhardt. “That first goal sparked us and we started playing better.”
Truckee added to its lead in the 30th minute. This time Thomas Arnstein took the corner kick, and Austin Simonpietri streaked in and got a foot on it just in front of an Incline defender, knocking it in for a 2-0 lead. Simonpietri then took another Truckee corner 9 minutes later, and Arnstein kicked in the rebound to extend the lead to 3-0.
“That's one of those things we try to work on, and our corner kicks were good today,” Eberhardt said.
Simonpietri scored the Wolverines' fourth goal in the 68th minute, assisted by Sarabia, while Colten Roderigue rounded out the scoring with Truckee's fourth corner-kick goal in the 77th minute.
“We played decent,” Fereira said. “We've definitely played better. But it's good to come out and defend our home field and get the shutout.”
Truckee is now 16-2 overall and 2-1 in the Mount Rose League. Incline is 7-5-1 overall and 2-1 in league.