South Tahoe boys soccer falls to Truckee 4-1 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Tahoe boys soccer falls to Truckee 4-1

South Tahoe players (left to right) Chase Waterman, Johnny Medina and Chris Medina brace for a second-half free kick from Truckee midfielder Thomas Arnstein in the Vikings’ 4-1 loss to the Wolverines Monday night at Viking Stadium.

The South Tahoe boys soccer team struck first against rival Truckee on Monday night — but the Wolverines eventually got rolling to remain unbeaten in league play. Truckee scored four unanswered goals to hand the Vikings a 4-1 defeat at Viking Stadium in their final home match of the regular season.

"We played with a ton of heart tonight — we had a lot of fight," Vikings head coach Ben Hannah said. "We definitely were able to play up to defend them."

On its first shot of the game, South Tahoe (6-5-1, 6-4-1 I-A Northern) grabbed the early lead with a goal that originated from a set piece. Midfielder Johnny Medina sent a free kick into the box from near midfield that found the head of defender Chuy Vazquez — Vazquez popped the ball up and Danny Lizaola took it out of the air with a header that beat an outstretched Gabriel Serna to make the score 1-0.

The Vikings' 16th-minute goal came on what would be their only shot of the first half. Truckee (13-2-2, 10-0) continued to generate chances, and scored a pair of high-quality goals eight minutes apart to take a 2-1 lead into the break.

In the 27th minute, the Wolverines tied the match with a picturesque strike from midfielder Thomas Arnstein — the senior fired a driven shot from outside the 18-yard box that curled into the right corner of the net. Five minutes before halftime, Truckee midfielder Manny Sarabia unleashed a shot that flew into the top right corner of the net to put South Tahoe down a goal.

"They were some good hits — Tom and Manny are good players, and they aren't afraid to have a shot," Truckee head coach Casey Eberhardt said. "Wherever they are, they can at least get it on frame — it was nice to have the lead going into halftime."

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South Tahoe made changes to its defensive tactics during the break, and kept Truckee at bay at the start of the second half. The Wolverines had a majority of the scoring chances after halftime, and eventually broke down South Tahoe on the break with a pair of late goals to put the match away.

The Wolverines made it 3-1 in the 75th minute on a brilliant piece of individual play from Sarabia — he took a through ball from defender Jose Gonzalez and dribbled by charging South Tahoe goalkeeper Kade Wallace 15 yards from the goal, then dribbled the ball all the way into the net.

With a minute left, Truckee midfielder David Martinez poked a right-footed shot past South Tahoe backup goalkeeper Eduardo Martinez to make the score 4-1. David Martinez dictated play in the midfield for the Wolverines, and used his speed and footwork to give the Vikings' defense fits.

"They play with confidence in every part of the field, and it showed tonight — it was good for us to see a team like that," Hannah said. "I thought we played them really, really well for about 70 minutes."

South Tahoe's defense absorbed consistent pressure from Truckee throughout the match, and Hannah said Vazquez and right back Chris Medina performed well on the back line. He also praised the play of the Vikings' reserves against the Wolverines.

"We didn't lose any continuity when our bench came in the game," Hannah said. "The bench players came in and held the line just as well as the starting lineup, and that tells me that we're coming together as a team."

South Tahoe returned to action Tuesday at Lowry. That match began a stretch of five straight on the road to end the regular season.

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