Vikings shoot for spot in regional finals |

Vikings shoot for spot in regional finals

Darrell Moody, Tribune News Service

Steve Yingling / Tahoe Daily TribuneSouth Tahoe's Natalie Flynn takes a shot during the Vikings' Northern 4A Regional Tournament win against Reed on Saturday in Reno.

Carson High puts its unbeaten Northern Nevada 4A League record on the line Thursday night at 7 against Sierra League rival South Tahoe in the semifinals of the 4A regional girls’ soccer playoffs at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno.

The winner advances to Saturday’s 4A final against the winner of the Galena-Douglas game, which is being played Thursday at 5 p.m. All four semifinalists represent the Sierra League. Semifinal losers will play Saturday at noon for the third-and-final state playoff berth.

The teams played twice during the regular season, and Carson posted a 2-0 win on Oct. 3, and the schools battled to a 1- 1 tie on Oct. 26.

“Top to bottom they have 11 solid starters,” said South Tahoe coach Clint Lockhart. “Brenda (Luquin) does a great job in the midfield and Kenzie (Tillitt) is a tough egg to crack in goal. It’s hard to crack through that defense.

“Defensively, they will keep us on our toes. Taylor (Musselman) does a great job up top and Brenda (Luquin) controls the middle.”

Musselman has nine goals, while Samantha Fishburn and Brenda Luquin have scored six goals apiece.

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Carson (13-0-4) has allowed just nine goals all year thanks to the great work of Emily Field, Allison Cowan, Natalie Stevens and Nicole Updegrove. The Senators’ defense will be tested by Shelbi Spicer, who has 17 goals, and Cassandra Diaz, who has nine scores thus far.

“We’re looking to play our game,” Lockhart said. “We want to control the middle and get the ball out wide. Hopefully we can spread out their defense and get through balls to capitalize on.”

Through balls, according to Carson coach Randy Roser, may be the only way for South Tahoe to win. He doesn’t think the Vikings can play a possession game and win.

The backbone of South Tahoe’s defense is goalie Alexis Nunes-Fenley, who was first team all-league last year and is coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

“She’s athletic and tall,” Roser said. “We’re not going to beat her high. We have to beat her low.

“They will play a compact defense in the box (18-yard area). We’re starting to see everybody plays us like that because we can move the ball.”

Neither coach is surprised at the Sierra League’s dominance over the weekend.

“The first round went like I thought,” Roser said. “I didn’t see the Douglas game, but from what I heard they dominated.”

“I’m a little surprised that all four made it through,” Lockhart said. “We went undefeated in the second half (of league), and every game was a battle.”