Girls shocker: South Tahoe girls upset Raiders
This time, Reed had no last-minute soccer heroics to save a match, as South Tahoe High’s girls upset the Raiders on Reed’s home field Tuesday.
Sophomore forward Jen Galea scored in the game’s 53rd minute, and the Vikings defense made the goal stand as fourth-seeded South Tahoe stunned top-seeded Reed 1-0. The first round of zone was a rematch of a Sept. 1 game, when the two teams battled to a 4-4 tie on a last-minute goal by Reed’s Sherika Evans.
“I just tried going strong to the goal and getting it into the far corner,” Galea said. “It just shocked me.”
With the score tied 0-0, Galea emerged with the ball from a scrum in front of the Reed goal. Reed’s goalie, Jen Mavis, left the net, and Galea buried the shot into the right corner, giving South Tahoe a 1-0 lead. Galea had credit for an unassisted score, but she called it a “team goal.”
“I think, as a team, we really earned it, and that hard work just got us a goal,” she said.
South Tahoe, though, would not have been in that position – nor been able to hold on – without 80 minutes of hard-nosed defense. Vikings goalie Sarah Junge made 20 stops, punching two sure goals over the crossbar in the first half. Also, senior marker Tirah Samura was on top of her assignment, dominating Evans. The fast, elusive Evans finished with just three shots, no goals.
“Tirah was not having none of it,” said South Tahoe head coach Julia Peyser, whose squad improved to 8-4-7 overall with the playoff win.
Indeed, Samura wasn’t. And Evans wasn’t having any offense.
“I just played back off her because I knew she was really fast,” Samura said.
Evans seemed frustrated. The player who chipped in the tying goal for Reed in the final seconds of injury time on Sept. 1 couldn’t turn around without Samura shadowing her.
“You could just feel it,” Samura said. “You could just tell, because you know how it feels when you’ve been there.”
While the defense was pitching its shutout, South Tahoe’s front line was working for opportunities, but couldn’t punch one in. Galea, clearly in pain after a hard kick to the ankle, created three golden chances in the first half, but couldn’t connect. Galea missed wide right from just inside the 18, crossed to senior Jen Hamm for a chance in front, then bombed in a shot to the top right corner that Mavis collected. The score stayed 0-0 at the half.
The Vikings forward line kept plugging away in the second half. Katrina Clapp’s shot off a feed from Diana Higman was just short in the 52nd minute, and Hamm volleyed two shots that Mavis saved. But Galea finally broke the tie on her first shot of the half.
“I knew I could push myself and get a goal, just pushing as hard as I can,” Galea said.
After tying seven matches during the regular season – including the second match of the year, against Reed – Peyser and her Vikings were determined not to go to overtime or penalty kicks. Reed, which bombed away at South Tahoe’s goal in the Sept. 1 tie, didn’t mount a stern challenge after Galea’s goal.
“It really felt, too, at the end, (Reed) backed off a little bit,” Peyser said.
The loss was only the second of the season for Reed, which finished on top of Northern Nevada 4A Division I, and advanced as the division’s top seed. Reed finished with a record of 12-2-4 with the loss. South Tahoe, the fourth seed from the league’s Division II, will continue through the zone tournament. South Tahoe’s next match is at 2 p.m. Thursday, against Division II Carson at the Senators’ home field. Carson advanced on Wednesday by beating Elko.
South Tahoe is 0-1-1 in the season series with Carson. The teams tied 0-0 at South Tahoe Middle School, before Carson won a lopsided match on its home field.
“I think the confidence is really going to carry them through,” Peyser said.
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