South Tahoe girls top Truckee to claim regional soccer crown
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe girls’ soccer took the long road to reach the final of the regional championships this past weekend.
The Vikings didn’t get a first round bye, had some key players miss games and played three games in three days in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 3A Northern Region Soccer Playoffs at Lowry High School.
But they capped off the tournament with a second consecutive win over their rival for the regional crown and hold the No. 1 seed heading into the state tournament that begins Friday in southern Nevada.
“We played three games in three days against quality opponents and we started on the wrong foot in our first game,” said Vikings Head Coach Aaron Moore.
South Tahoe, the No. 2 seed from the west, played Churchill County, the No. 3 seed from the east, in the quarterfinals and fell behind 1-0 in the first 10 minutes.
The Vikings trailed until about 20 minutes left in the game when the offense finally broke through. South Tahoe scored three times, two from senior Marley Befu and one from senior Jenna Pevenage, to escape with a 3-1 victory against the Greenwave.
Senior Mackenzie Nealis assisted on two of the goals.
In the semifinals, South Tahoe jumped on Spring Creek early and pressured for most of the game before hanging on to win 1-0.
Senior Anjelina Maltase scored in the first 10 minutes and the goal held up after a late, great save from goalie Molly Adams.
“Spring Creek is always very athletic and brings a lot of fight,” Moore said. “We pressed all game for that second goal but it never came. We held possession most of the game and Molly made a fantastic save late. Facing a breakaway, she came out and smothered the chance.”
In the championship game, the Vikings faced rival Truckee, the four-time defending state champs, for the third time this season. The first ended in a tie, the second the Vikings dominated 3-0 and the third time was not the charm for the Wolverines. South Tahoe again earned the victory, 2-0.
The game was scoreless through halftime and it wasn’t until about 15 minutes left when the Vikings scored their first goal.
Kiana Buchholz put the ball in the net after a nice drive and pass from Nealis.
With about 2 minutes left, the Vikings ended all suspense when Jennia Arias passed to Nealis who then booted a shot into the upper far corner of the net over the goalie.
“It was pretty even to start with Truckee with both teams feeling each other out,” Moore said. “We played without a couple of players but in the second half we started to press and gained control. The difference was probably our depth, we went 20 deep during this tournament. Truckee is a good team, but they had a double overtime game against Wooster the day before and a golden goal won it for them.”
The State Girls Soccer Playoffs begin Friday in Pahrump Valley High School near Las Vegas. The Vikings will head south on Thursday.
The Vikings will play the No. 2 seed from the south, Boulder City at 4 p.m. On the other side of the bracket, Truckee will play the south’s top seed, Pahrump Valley at 6 p.m. The championship game will be played at noon on Saturday.
The games can be streamed online on the NFHS network with a subscription.
“For state, hopefully we’ll be at full strength,” Moore said. “Boulder City has only three losses so we’re going in there with a lot of respect for them. We need to come out aggressive and be assertive. But to me Truckee is still the favorite until they’re knocked out.”
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