South Tahoe boys soccer blanks Lowry 6-0 to close 1st round | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Tahoe boys soccer blanks Lowry 6-0 to close 1st round

Halfway through its league slate, the South Tahoe boys soccer team is playing the best it has all season. Sparked by a first-half hat trick from forward Danny Lizaola, the Vikings beat Lowry 6-0 on Friday night at Viking Stadium to cap the first round of league play.

"They looked great out there — it was the second game this week that was an overall team effort," Vikings head coach Ben Hannah said. "The combination plays were outstanding — we're really happy with the way the defense is playing to midfield is playing to the offense and creating chances."

Lizaola scored three times in the first 23 minutes for South Tahoe (4-4-1, 4-3-1 I-A Northern) to set the tone for a comfortable victory. The senior opened the scoring by converting a one-on-one chance in the sixth minute, then found the back of the net off a cross a minute later — both goals were assisted by strike partner Michal Lis.

"Right after the kickoff they played a bad ball — Michal took it down the line, crossed it in and I put it way," Lizaola said. "It was surprising that I got another goal that quickly."

In the 23rd minute, Lizaola pounced on the rebound from a low Lis shot to complete his hat trick. Coming into Friday's match, he had scored two goals in the previous eight contests.

"It felt good to finally get on the board — it was great coming off the field and having all your teammates and coaches tell you good job," Lizaola said.

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Lowry replaced its goalkeeper seven minutes after Lizaola's third goal, and South Tahoe scored on the backup in the 35th minute to take a four-goal lead into the break. Vikings defender Rogelio Salcedo lofted a free kick from near midfield over the Buckaroos defense to find midfielder Cesar Ruiz, who drove a left-footed shot into the far corner of the net.

South Tahoe stayed in control of the match after halftime, and punctuated its win with a pair of late goals. In the 72nd minute, midfielder Chase Waterman made the score 5-0 by smashing home a right-footed volley on a free kick — a picturesque strike that highlighted a solid performance on the wing.

"Chase played his heart out today — he probably had the best game that I've seen him play all season," Hannah said. "He was really hungry — he came off the bench and was outstanding."

In the last minute, Kade Wallace capped the scoring with a breakaway goal. Wallace served as backup goalkeeper against Lowry — Eduardo Martinez started and got the shutout — and coolly finished his scoring chance for a second goal in as many matches.

"The three points were really important today — with these three points we're back on a roll," Lizaola said. "We're going to start winning some games."

Lis assisted on each of Lizaola's three goals, and was one of four South Tahoe players to record an assist against Lowry. Midfielder Cole Lyon delivered the free kick that resulted in Waterman's goal, and Hannah said the junior had a standout performance while playing most of the match.

With the win, South Tahoe finished the first round of league play with a 4-1-1 record after dropping its first two matches. The Vikings currently sit in the middle of the league standings, and began their push toward the postseason Tuesday with a home match against Dayton.

"This team needed to have a little turnaround and the Sparks game provided that. We had it going all the right direction tonight," Hannah said.

After facing the Dust Devils, South Tahoe hosts Fallon on Thursday at 4 p.m. at South Tahoe Middle School. The Vikings lost to the Greenwave 2-1 in the first meeting between the teams this season.

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