Manogue damages Vikings’ playoff hopes |

Manogue damages Vikings’ playoff hopes

Jeremy Evans

The Manogue High boys’ soccer team needed a win to keep its chances for a Sierra League title alive. South Tahoe needed a win over a playoff-bound team to keep its fading Northern 4A playoff hopes alive.

In the end, it was the Miners who seized their opportunity as Dillon Lynch’s penalty kick in the 70th minute proved to be the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the Vikings on Tuesday at the Community Youth Sports Complex.

“South Tahoe made it tough on us,” said Manogue’s second-year coach Winston Helms. “They are young just like we were last year, and they are going to be a force in the future. But we’ve been finding a way to win all season, and I just want the kids to keep finding ways to win.”

Manogue (7-2-2 overall, 6-2-1 league) opened the scoring in the 38th minute when Jeff Lewis drilled a long-range shot that made it 1-0. When Lynch converted his penalty kick, it seemed the Miners would cruise to victory.

But Manogue’s second-half goal seemed to go against the flow of the game as the Vikings came out more inspired after intermission. And in the 74th minute when Omar Navarro sent a ball into the penalty box for Kory DiGrande, whose left-footed shot landed in the side netting, South Tahoe fought for the equalizer.

“I’ve never had to really say this before, but we came out flat,” said STHS coach Chris DeLeon. “In the first half, we were flat. In the second half, we picked it up and played well. Once we scored our goal, we picked up the intensity even more, but by then it’s too late. This team is still trying to figure that out, but the talent is there on this team.”

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Manogue, which has seven juniors and four seniors in its starting lineup, is in great position to qualify for the regional playoffs. South Tahoe, which plays eight underclassmen at times, could miss the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.

“From here on out, we know what we need to do,” DeLeon said. “This team has improved and has the talent to win, but now we need to go out there and do it. There aren’t many games left.”

For the Vikings to qualify for the postseason in their final five regular season games, they will likely need to beat the three teams below them in the standings (Douglas, Fallon and Damonte) and get at least one win against Galena or Carson. Even then, that might not be enough.

South Tahoe’s next game is on Saturday against Galena in Reno.