Truckee rallies past Whittell boys |

Truckee rallies past Whittell boys

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor
Steve Yingling / Tribune sports editorTrevor Fairbank of Whittell High School launches a shot past Truckee keeper Ignacio Diaz on Thursday in Zephyr Cove.

Whittell High couldn’t have asked for a much better start to its boys’ soccer match against Truckee on Thursday.

T.J. Kolesnik knocked a shot off the post in the opening minute, and Trevor Fairbank turned a steal into a goal 13 minutes later as the Warriors drew first blood.

But Truckee didn’t buckle, scoring three unanswered goals for a 3-1 league-opening physical victory at Whittell.

“As far as being down one goal, I was happy that we responded well,” said Truckee coach Hernan Valdivia. “We have a good core of three seniors, so it’s a relatively young team, so I was happy to see us pick it up.”

Michael Brixey scored twice and Jose Sarabia added a goal as Wolverines escaped with the two-goal win after tying Whittell in its last visit to Zephyr Cove.

“They are really skilled and quick, but we made some mistakes,” said Whittell coach Steve Maltase. “Our weakside defense on offset plays was poor. We were ball watching.”

Brixey scored the equalizer at 25:00, beating Whittell goalie Austin Neil with a header just inside the post on a corner kick by Jason Apolinar.

Following a shot on goal by Kolesnik in the 36th minute, Sarabia found the back of then net on a cross, giving Truckee a 2-1 lead.

Truckee (3-2 overall) put away the Warriors in the 71st minute when Brixey deposited a rebound into the net, with Colton Rodrigue setting up the score with his accurate corner kick.

“We knew that they were going to be tough because they were really up-and-coming last year and playing real physical,” Valdivia said. “I think they are going to surprise a lot of people.”

Neil made 16 saves to keep the Warriors close.

“Austin was in the right position almost all of the time. We just had some marking problems on the weakside,” Maltase said.

Whittell will try to even its league record when the Warriors travel to South Tahoe on Tuesday for the first-ever soccer league game between the schools.

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