The North Tahoe and Incline boys soccer teams settled nothing in their first meeting — nor did they in the second go-around.
After playing to a competitive 2-2 tie on Oct. 3, the lakeside rivals again finished in a hard-fought draw, this time 3-3 at a neutral site in Galena on Wednesday.
“It was a very good, intense, exciting game — two very good teams going at it,” North Tahoe coach Beto Alcaraz said, adding that both teams narrowly missed on several goal-scoring opportunities. “We hit the crossbar twice; they hit the post and crossbar a couple of times too.”
The Division III game was a back-and-forth affair as North Tahoe’s Adrian Ortega and Incline’s Rey Estrada scored two goals apiece to lead their clubs.
North Tahoe took a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute on Ortega’s first goal. Incline’s Danny Guerrero knotted the score nine minutes later with a goal assisted by Hugo Garcia. The Highlanders took over the lead at 2-1 when Estrada scored a goal assisted by Alex Alcantara in the 34th minute.
Ortega and the Lakers answered just two minutes later, but Estrada scored again in extra time at the end of the half to give the Highlanders a 3-2 edge at the midway point.
It wasn’t enough. North Tahoe senior Wildon DesLauriers scored the tying goal in the 45th minute, and neither team found the back of the net again.
“Our boys played very well,” Alcaraz said, adding that the Lakers received solid play from midfielders Lucas Earley, Jesús Ortega and Chase Whitney, as well as their fullbacks and goalie, Omar Vargas. Forwards Jose Chavez, Adrian Ortega and DesLauriers also played well, the coach said.
Incline finished the regular season in first place in the Northern Division III standings, at 9-0-3, and will enter the regional championship tournament at Incline next Friday and Saturday as the No. 1 seed. Whittell (8-3-0) will secure the No. 2 seed if it beats last-place Yerington (0-9-1) on Saturday. North Tahoe, at 7-2-3, will enter regionals as the No. 3 seed while White Pine (6-3-2) clinched the No. 4 seed.
As such, Incline will match up against White Pine in the regional semifinal round Friday, while North Tahoe and Whittell will square off in the other semifinal the same day. Game times have not been determined.
The girls game remained scoreless through most of the first half before Incline broke through in the 30th minute and went on to earn a 4-0 win.
Caitlin May opened the scoring in the 30th minute on an assist from Vanessa Andrade, who then extended the lead to 2-0 in the 34th minute assisted by Elise Nelson.
Andrade scored again in the 48th minute, against assisted by Nelson. Andrade added a third goal assisted by Caroline May in the 73rd minute.
North Tahoe coach Kristin Carlson said she was pleased with the way her team played despite the score.
“The first half was very evenly played and we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net, despite a handful of good chances to do so,” she said.
Carlson complimented the play of Francesca English, Julia Semmens and Allison Wright
“All of the players really played their hardest,” she said. “I am proud of their effort. We look forward to facing some of our tougher opponents in the playoffs next week.”
Incline is first up on the list. Assuming top-seeded Whittell (12-1-0) defeats last-place Yerington (1-10-1) on Saturday, the second-seeded Highlanders (12-1-1) and third-seeded Lakers (9-4-1) will meet again in the semifinal round of the regional tournament at Incline next Friday. Whittell will face White Pine (8-5-0) in the semifinal round. Times are not decided.