Lake Tahoe CC men’s soccer ends scoring drought, beats American River 3-0 |

Lake Tahoe CC men’s soccer ends scoring drought, beats American River 3-0

Anthony Gentile
Lake Tahoe sophomore Rich Murray slides the ball away from an American River player in the Coyotes non-conference match against the Beavers on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The Lake Tahoe Community College men’s soccer team took a goalless stretch of 325 minutes into its match Tuesday, Sept. 6. At home against American River College (Sacramento, Calif.), the Coyotes wasted little time ending that drought.

“We knew with this game we needed a goal in the first 10 minutes,” sophomore center back Danny Culverwell said. “Scoring in the first 10 seconds was even better. It took a lot of pressure off us.”

LTCC scored seconds after kickoff Tuesday en route to a season-best offensive output. Freshman Lewis Gillings’ first-minute goal set the tone as the Coyotes rolled to a 3-0 victory over the Beavers

“That was a well-deserved win,” Coyotes coach Nick Arbelaez said. “We’ve been waiting for a performance like that.”

Lake Tahoe (2-2-3) ended its drought that spanned three-plus matches almost instantly following the opening whistle. The Coyotes pressured American River (1-2) right after kickoff, and it led to Gillings deflecting a clearance attempt into the back of the net that made it 1-0.

“It finally clicked and the wall is broken down,” said sophomore Stephen Flora, who scored twice in the win. “The goals are going to start flooding in.”

Late in the first half, Flora scored the first of his two goals in the match. Off a cross from sophomore Rich Murray, Flora produced a highlight-reel header across the net and into the top corner of the goal for a 39th-minute score that put Lake Tahoe ahead 2-0.

“Perfect ball, perfect header — it just comes down to repetition,” Flora said.” Nick has been pushing on us to make those runs, finish those chances and put the ball back where it’s coming from. That’s what I tried to do, and muscle memory kicked in.”

In the second half, Flora again used his head to secure the result for the Coyotes. The sophomore got some space from his defender on a corner kick and produced a powerful header to make it 3-0 in the 65th minute.

“We were joking around and I must have got in his head,” Flora explained. “I completely lost him and the goalie must have also been stepping the wrong way — it was a little bit fortunate for me.”

Goalkeepers Victor Andrades and Omar Trujillo combined for a shutout Tuesday, Lake Tahoe’s fourth in seven matches this season. The Coyotes have been strong in defense early on, allowing the team to work through a slow start offensively.

“It’s nice getting a clean sheet because we know we’re that solid at the back,” said Culverwell, who has anchored Lake Tahoe’s back line. “We hate conceding — we try to keep everything out, because if we keep everything out we’re not going to lose games.”

Lake Tahoe returns to action at home Saturday, Sept. 10, against San Francisco City College (Calif.). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

“We’re hitting our stride, and ultimately we’re a young squad right now,” Arbelaez said. “We’re finding our starting lineup — we have our 16 guys.”

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