Vikings advance to regional finals
November 5, 2009
RENO – For the second time in three years, the South Tahoe High girls’ soccer team is going to the Northern 4A Regional Tournament finals.
Four minutes into overtime, senior Cassandra Diaz scored from 10 yards out to propel the Vikings to a 2-1 overtime victory over Carson in a semifinal match Thursday night at Damonte Ranch High in Reno.
“It’s great,” South Tahoe coach Clint Lockhart said after the big win. “We started the season with a couple of losses. We were not together at all in terms of everybody being on the same page.
“We’re coming together now. We were undefeated in the second half of the season. The girls are finding their rhythm at the right time.”
Diaz flashed through the slot, took a pass from Becky Bruce and beat Carson goalie Kenzie Tillitt for the game-winner in the fourth minute of OT, giving the Vikings a chance to win their first regional title since 1996. It was Diaz’s 10th goal of the season.
“Our defense finally broke down,” Carson coach Randy Roser said. “We picked the wrong time to do it. Both of their goals, the players weren’t marked. The last goal she just ran through. Our back four had trouble tonight.”
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South Tahoe also clinched a spot in next week’s state tournament. The Vikings face off against Douglas Saturday at 2. The teams split their two regular-season meetings.
“They’re a great team, just like Carson,” Lockhart said.
It was Carson’s first defeat all season. Carson entered the game 13-0-4.
South Tahoe senior forward Shelbi Spicer scored with 25 minutes remaining to pull the Vikings into a 1-1 tie with the Senators. Spicer’s 18th goal of the season came on a through ball in the 55th minute.
Spicer also hit the left post on a shot four minutes into the second half.
South Tahoe outshot Carson 11-10 in regulation play, with four of its seven second-half attempt coming between the posts.
The Senators’ Taylor Musselman scored off an assist from Ashley Turner to take a 1-0 lead after 10 minutes. Musselman had another good look late in the second half, but her short-side attempt was gobbled up by Alexis Nunes-Fenley, who ended the game with six saves
– Darrell Moody of the Nevada Appeal contributed to this story.