Mosqueda and Montoya: STHS’s Thunder and lightning | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Mosqueda and Montoya: STHS’s Thunder and lightning

Jeremy Evans

Ernesto Mosqueda looks the part of an imposing striker. Broad shouldered with a healthy sprinkling of facial hair, he appears closer to 28 than 18.

Milton Montoya, meanwhile, looks exactly like the high school senior he is. With a boyish grin, his lethal offensive ability is only overshadowed by his deft touch.

“One is more finesse and one is more of a power player,” said STHS boys’ soccer coach Chris DeLeon. “Milton likes to place the ball and Ernesto likes to power it.”

While each player possesses their own scoring method, together they make up the most feared scoring tandem in the Northern 4A. Mosqueda and Montoya have combined to score 40 goals this season and have the Vikings gunning for a second state title in three years.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” Mosqueda said. “I’ll be disappointed (if we don’t get there.)”

The South Tahoe strikers take their next step toward that goal tonight at 6 in Carson City. The Vikings, who have won the past four Sierra Division titles, play Douglas in the zone semifinals. Carson faces Elko in the other semifinal.

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Today’s winners will earn the region’s two berths into next week’s state tournament and will meet on Saturday for the Northern 4A championship. The Vikings last won zone in 2003, the same year they won the state title.

DeLeon, though, thinks this year’s team has a different complexion than the 2003 squad. While that team was led by high-profile players such as Alex Torres, Leon Abravanel, Victor Mariscal and Enrique Avina, this year’s team is more balanced.

“We’re more of a team than they were,” DeLeon said. “They had stars. They had Alex and Leon. This year, we don’t have any stars. We have Ernesto and Milton, but our midfield is good and our defense hasn’t allowed many goals. We’re pretty balanced.”

Both Mosqueda and Montoya didn’t play soccer last season because of eligibility issues. Mosqueda was a defender on the 2003 squad but moved to forward for this season.

“I came from defense so I can’t say I expected this,” said Mosqueda, who has four hat tricks this season. “I’m just glad that I got the chance to play forward.”

However, while both players entered this season with high expectations, it was Montoya whom many thought would be the region’s top scorer. Instead, Mosqueda is with 27 goals.

That isn’t a problem for Montoya, who admits adjusting to varsity has been more difficult than he thought it would be. But playing next to Mosqueda, who he has played with for the past seven years, has helped him this season.

“We’ve been playing together for a long time, in club and in the adult league, so we know how the other one plays,” said Montoya, who played JV in 2003 and has 13 goals this season. “It’s harder than I thought it would be (playing varsity). It’s more difficult when you have to play teams the second time because they know how to play against you.”

Although Mosqueda and Montoya may have been secrets to the rest of the Northern 4A coming into the season, DeLeon hasn’t been surprised.

“I’ve been watching these guys forever in club and in the men’s league,” DeLeon said. “Ernesto has great awareness on the field. A lot of his goals have come on headers and he’s been all alone on those because he knows where to be. Everyone else may have been, but I wasn’t surprised by either of them.”