Lancers pitch a shutout vs. Vikings | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lancers pitch a shutout vs. Vikings

Jeremy Evans

Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune South Tahoe High's Tess Braun fights for the ball against Megan Tuttle of McQueen during a Northern 4A regional playoff soccer match Wednesday at Galena High in Reno.

RENO – Soccer can be a cruel game. The South Tahoe High girls’ soccer team found that out the hard way on Wednesday evening.

Despite holding a 20-9 advantage in the shots-on-goal department, the Vikings saw the Lancers take advantage of their chances and post a 3-0 victory in the first round of the Northern 4A Regional Tournament at Galena High School.

“I wish I could’ve bought a goal,” said STHS first-year coach Jose Gonzalez. “I really didn’t expect to have our season end this early, not with the way we’ve been playing. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

Molly Matles recorded two goals for McQueen, which scored both of its goals in the first half on corner kicks. The Lancers (10-2-3) advance to the zone semifinals for the third consecutive season.

McQueen, which won zone in 2003 and lost in the championship game last year, plays Carson on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Carson High School. In other first-round games on Wednesday at Galena, the Senators beat Elko 2-0 and Reed beat Douglas 3-1.

Reed faces Galena at noon in the other semifinal on Saturday at Carson. If McQueen is as efficient on Saturday as it was against the Vikings, it should have no problem challenging for another zone title.

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“Scoring on two corner kicks is really helpful,” said McQueen coach Roy Callahan, whose team ended South Tahoe’s season last year with a 1-0 win in the zone semifinals. “It wasn’t really an ideal evening for either team, being windy and cold like this. But I’m proud of the job my girls did. We dodged some bullets in the second half.”

In the third minute, the Lancers’ Kevyn Holden’s corner kick found the head of Alexandra Sacks, who redirected it into the net for a 1-0 lead. Then in the 32nd minute, Holden placed another kick into the box. The Vikings were slow in clearing the ball, and Matles pounced on it and put her team up 2-0.

McQueen nearly went up 3-0 in the 35th minute. Holden capitalized on another failed clearance by South Tahoe, but her shot drilled a shot off the post. Meanwhile, the Vikings were confused why something didn’t come out of their eight shots on goal in the first half.

“Not to take anything away from the Lancers, but those goals were on our mistakes,” Gonzalez said. “Not scoring obviously didn’t help us. But in the games we have lost this season, it’s always been our mistakes.”

The Vikings (9-7-2) came out in the second half inspired and determined to get on the scoreboard. It nearly happened in the 48th minute, when Bailey Flood shook a defender, got into the box and sailed a shot over the cross bar.

Less than a minute later, though, Matles got free in the South Tahoe box and fired a shot at Viking goalie Elle Vermillion, who appeared to have the shot handled. But the ball dropped out of her hands and landed on the other side of the goal line and South Tahoe faced a three-goal deficit with 30 minutes to play.

Although the Lancers only got three shots on goal in the second half, they actually could’ve went ahead 3-0 before Flood’s scoring chance. In the 45th minute, Holden’s cross on the right side found Alysa Vecchione alone in the box, whose shot beat Vermillion but defender Janelle Perasso cleared the shot off the line and saved a certain goal.

The Vikings allowed only one more shot on goal the rest of the way and recorded 11 against McQueen goalie Lisa Bishop, who was up to the test every time.

“I’m proud of the way the girls played,” Gonzalez said. “We controlled the second half and did everything we could but score a goal. It was very frustrating. We have a lot of big shoes to fill next year, but we have girls coming back with big feet.”