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Soccer Shootout: South Tahoe Viking boys join girls in regional finals

RENO ” The South Tahoe boys’ soccer team and Carson have played all sorts of

classic matches over the last decade. But never before has a penalty-kick

shootout ended the losing team’s season ” until Thursday.



Senior goalkeeper Josh Doherty made two saves, while Andres Munoz, Mac

Cerceo, Tanner Braun and Omar Reyes all converted their shots as the Vikings



defeated the Senators 4-2 in a shootout to post a 1-0 victory in the

Northern 4A regional tournament semifinals at Damonte Ranch High School.

South Tahoe (16-4-4) will play Douglas (18-4-1) in the championship on

Saturday at 2 p.m. at Damonte Ranch. The Tigers defeated High Desert League

champion Reed 1-0 in Thursday’s other semifinal.

The Vikings have already qualified for the Nevada 4A state tournament with

Thursday’s win, but a victory over Douglas would give them their fifth

regional title in six years.

“It would be incredible to win a regional championship with this team … I

can¹t even describe how good it would feel,” said Doherty, who will be

seeking his first regional title as the team¹s starting goalie. “We will

have no problem getting up for Saturday¹s game after beating Carson. Usually

I am not very good at penalty kicks, so I went in a little nervous. But

those shots, I knew where they were coming from.”

The two teams played to a 0-0 draw through 80 minutes of regulation and two,

15-minute overtime periods. The best scoring chance for either team came in

105th minute when Braun launched a long-range shot that forced Carson keeper

Brandon Briggs to make a quality save.

But when a rivalry runs this deep in tradition ” the two teams have combined

for three state titles since 1998 ” neither team was giving up a goal

easily.

So it came down to a shootout, not exactly the best way to win a game but

certainly the only way after 130 minutes of scoreless soccer.

“What can I say? It’s Carson, Tahoe and the beautiful game,” said STHS coach

Chris DeLeon. “Penalty kicks are the worst way to lose a game. They are the

ugliest thing about soccer. But World Cups have been won and lost on them,

so we will take it. We will gladly take it.”

The shootout, though, didn¹t start off well for the Vikings. They missed

their first shot, but Doherty saved Carson’s first attempt to keep South

Tahoe’s spirits up.

Then Munoz, Cerceo and Braun converted three consecutive shots that any

keeper in the world would’ve had difficulty stopping. After Doherty saved

Carson’s fourth attempt, the Vikings punched their state ticket with Reyes’

blast that landed in the upper right-hand corner.

“I was pretty nervous,” said Reyes, a senior midfielder. “I was thinking

about where I wanted to go, but I tried not to think too much. I just picked

my side.

“I knew we could beat them. We came into this game with the mentality that

we would win. Now we are ready for Douglas.”

Carson, which has won back-to-back Sierra League regular season titles but

hasn’t qualified for state in either year, finishes 20-3-4. The Senators had

beaten and tied the Vikings in two meetings during the regular season.


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