Vikings soccer dominates rival Truckee in home finale (Gallery)
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — After dominating their rival and 4-time defending state champs this weekend, the South Tahoe girl’s soccer team didn’t get too excited and provide any extra motivation knowing they may see them again down the road in the playoffs.
The Vikings scored twice in the first seven minutes and rolled to a 3-0 victory over Truckee on a snowy, breezy Saturday at South Tahoe High School, ending the Wolverines’ chance at an unbeaten season.
The teams have met in the finals in each of the last three state championship tournaments (2017-2019) and the Vikings have been on the short end every time.
“It was a challenging match for sure,” said Vikings midfielder and co-team captain Marley Befu. “We were up against a great opponent, our rivals, and they put up a great fight just like we did. We really had a lot of composure at the beginning of the game when we scored those two goals right off the bat. That’s one of the most important aspects of the game, to knock the other teams on their heels first. A lot of respect for Truckee and for our team. We worked really hard to earn this win.”
In the first 10 minutes of the game, it looked like the teams were playing on a sloped field where everything funneled towards the Truckee net.
Vikings sophomore midfielder Emmie Fiel moments into the game sent a left-footed shot that went just wide of the net.
A minute later, after a goal kick from the missed shot, senior forward Ella Bickert booted a rocket from about the top of the penalty box that went through the hands of the diving goalie and into the net just three minutes into the game.
“All of the forwards were making good runs and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Bickert said. “I made good contact with the ball and it went right in. It felt really good. We set the tone in the first couple of minutes and we were all on the same page to win the game today. We feel more united as a team, we had one goal in mind and we all accomplished it.”
“Ella, she started wide and made a beautiful first touch and the finish is easy once you put in all the prep work,” said Vikings Head Coach Aaron Moore. “It got us on the right stance for this game.”
A few minutes later, the Vikings’ pressure again paid off with a free kick just outside the penalty box, in a similar spot where Bickert scored the first goal.
Senior Mackenzie Nealis took the free kick and lined it into the lower left corner of the net where there was no chance for it to be stopped.
Seven minutes into the game, the Vikings were up 2-0 and that lead would last into halftime.
“We’ve been struggling to score this year, so for them to be able to go out and demand that they were going to be a force made a big difference,” Moore said. “For us, it was just getting ourselves on the front foot and ready to play and know that we can play some great soccer. We played great team possession, worked the ball around quickly and it worked out for us today.”
The scoring chances the rest of the way were few and far between, and almost non-existent for Truckee. The Wolverines didn’t put serious pressure on the South Tahoe net until about 20 minutes left in the game, but the 10-minutes of pressure they did provide were snuffed out by the Vikings.
“We played with a lot of energy, came out with a lot of passion,” Moore said. “Truckee is a fantastic team, top of the league, four time state champs, that inspires us to go out and play our best and we’ll probably be playing again later this year. They are always good, exciting games with great soccer.”
South Tahoe put the game away when leading scorer Anjelina Maltase scored on a beautiful touch from about 30 yards out in the closing moments.
The senior lofted a shot high in the air over the outstretched arms of the goalie into the right top corner of the net.
“The goal at the end that Anjelina scored was just a beautiful goal,” Befu said.
The Vikings (7-1-3, 5-1-2 3A North-West League) have two games remaining in the season, both on the road. They play at North Tahoe on Tuesday and finish the regular season Thursday at Sparks, two teams they’ve already beaten this year.
The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 3A Northern Region Girls Soccer Playoffs begin Thursday, Nov. 4, at Lowry High School.
“This team, we’ve really come a long way as a unit,” Befu said. “I’m excited to see what else this season has in store for us.”
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