First overtime shot knocks Vikings out of state tournament |

First overtime shot knocks Vikings out of state tournament

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

Steve Yingling / Tahoe Daily TribuneMarina Palmieri of the Vikings tries to get off a shot in overtime while being defended by Galena's Lyndsey Bohall on Friday in the Nevada 4A state girls' soccer tournament in Reno.

RENO – All of those postseason overtime matches finally caught up with the South Tahoe High Vikings’ girls’ soccer team on Friday.

Unable to put away any of their ample second-half opportunities, the Vikings’ season came to an abrupt halt on Galena’s first shot of overtime.

Sophomore Amber McAllester chipped in a 30-yard shot over STHS keeper Mickey Segers and just under the cross bar six minutes into the extra period, giving Galena a 1-0 Nevada 4A state girls’ soccer semifinal victory at Damonte Ranch High. It was the Vikings’ fourth straight postseason overtime game – the latter two ending in defeat.

“Soccer is a fickle game sometimes, and that one shot can be all it takes,” said STHS coach Clint Lockhart. “My hat is off to Galena. They played us great today.”

With a victory in the first girls’ 4A state match in Nevada Interscholastic Activities history, the Grizzlies advanced to play Douglas in Saturday’s historic championship. The Northern 4A champion Tigers blanked Faith Lutheran 4-0 to qualify for the 10 a.m. final.

“This was a blast,” said Galena coach Ron Jones, whose Grizzlies defeated the Vikings for the second time in three matches this season. “The importance of a true state championship will be even more accentuated with this inauguration year. We hope the girls’ teams in Las Vegas jump over in the fall, because it needs to happen.”

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South Tahoe (18-6-2) outshot Galena 10-4 in the second half, including a free kick rocket off the foot of Erika Cook that bounced off the far post. Each team finished with 14 shots, and Segers led the goalies with seven saves.

In the first half, the Vikings struggled to break through the Grizzlies’ tight defense and didn’t trigger its first attempt until well into the opening 40 minutes. But South Tahoe had two solid scoring chances before the half expired – one where Shelbi Spicer was whistled for being offside and the other on a free kick by Cook just outside the 18. Cook fooled the Grizzlies by sending a pass laterally to Marisol Lizaola, whose one-footed attempt was wide of the mark.

The Vikings continued their offensive attack after intermission when Cook blasted a 28-yard free kick off the far post. “We had our chances on free kicks,” Lockhart said. “A couple of inches and that goes in, and that might have been the only goal of the game.”

Midway through the half, Cassandra Diaz came up with a loose ball in front of Galena’s goal, but her quick shot sailed over the top of the goal. Later in the half, Diaz was helped from the field after a collision with a Galena player, but returned for the final nine minutes of regulation.

Cook was awarded one final free kick in the 76th minute after Lizaola was knocked to the carpet, but the shot didn’t have the power of her previous attempt and was easily saved.

Early in the overtime, Marina Palmieri nearly produced the winning shot. But she was confronted just as she was attempting a shot that went harmlessly across the backline.

South Tahoe concluded one of its most successful seasons ever by advancing to the regional finals for the second time in three years and qualifying for the first state tournament. In the past three years, Lockhart’s program has won 45 games.

“Where they started at the beginning of the soccer season to where they are now, they are definitely improved soccer players. A lot of it has come with their determination and work ethic,” Lockhart said. “Everything they have accomplished when everybody has told them that they couldn’t and counted them out. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”