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November 12, 2012
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Incline soccer | Boys, girls win DIII state titles

Tom Canino must have been celebrated out by the end of the day Saturday.

Within about a two-hour span, the head coach of the Incline boys and girls soccer teams watched both of his squads capture titles in the Division III state championship tournament in Henderson.

His boys made him sweat it out first with an exciting, 4-3 comeback victory over Whittell after a 10 a.m. start. The girls, starting immediately following, allowed the coach to relax a bit as they coasted to a 4-0 win in their final, also against Whittell.

After defeating White Pine and Whittell by a combined score of 10-1 in the Northern Division III regional tournament the previous week, the Incline girls swept past the same two opponents by a 9-0 margin in the state tournament.

In the championship game - which followed a 5-0 semifinal win over White Pine on Friday - junior Elise Nelson initiated the scoring with a goal in the 10th minute, and senior Haley Derr extended the lead to 2-0 with a goal from 35 yards out in the 25th minute.

The Warriors, playing without three of their starting players - goalie Brittany Boulet, Sabrina Trachsel and Skylar Smith - came out strong to start the second half. Eighteen minutes in, however, Incline senior Kayla Goldberg scored the third Highlander goal with a high-arcing shot from 25 yards, just clearing the goalie's reach as it slipped under the crossbar.

Late in the contest, Derr took a corner kick that hit the crossbar and bounced straight down to the goal line, where junior Kerrie Tonking kicked it in to round out the scoring.

"They're a tough team. They play very well together," said Whittell head coach Patrick Kelly . "They don't have too many weakness."

In addition to their championship victory, the Incline girls were awarded before their game with the Academic State Championship for earning a collective GPA of 3.90.

The girls finished the year 19-6 overall.

The Incline boys did not have as easy a time as the girls.

The Highlanders first had to get past North Tahoe in the state semifinal round Friday, which, like in the regional semifinal, was no simple task.

The Lakers played the Highlanders tough, but a first-half goal proved to be the difference in the 1-0 Incline win. Incline's goal-scorer was not available.

In the championship game the next morning, the Warriors jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as Whittell's main offensive threat, Mark Waite, collected two goals in the first 15 minutes.

The junior broke free from defenders in the first 5 minutes of the game to record his first goal. A corner kick found Waite 10 minutes later, and he knocked in his second goal of the day.

Incline sophomore Marlon Correa cut the lead to 2-1 just before the half, according to the Reno Gazette Journal, while Incline senior Drew Bessette scored both the tying and go-ahead goals in the second half.

But Whittell was not done. Waite once again found net for the Warriors to complete his hat trick and knot the score at 3-3 late in regulation. The game ended in the same score, sending it to a sudden-death overtime.

Incline senior co-captain and veteran Kyle Reeves took care of the rest. About a minute into the overtime period, Reeves buried the winning goal to clinch the title for the Highlanders.

The state title marked the fourth ever for Incline, which is tied with Bishop Gorman for third most in NIAA history. Truckee has seven state championships and North Tahoe six.

Incline finished the year 15-8-1 overall.

- Becky Regan of the Tahoe Daily Tribune contributed to this story.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 14, 2012 04:00PM Published Nov 12, 2012 07:44PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.