Vikings win windy home opener vs. Hawks
Judging from the postgame reactions, it looked as if the Hug Hawks had beaten South Tahoe instead of the other way around Tuesday in the Vikings’ home opener.
South Tahoe scored a goal in each half to defeat Hug 2-0 in the nonleague girls’ soccer match at the Community Youth Sports Complex at South Tahoe Middle School.
The Hawks were all smiles and upbeat following the defeat, while the Vikings were a team that realized that the victory was tougher than it should have been.
“We are a better team than last year,” said Hug coach Sergio Rivera. “2-0 against South Tahoe is like a tie for us, not a win. We lost to them 9-0 last year, so they are pretty happy with 2-0.”
South Tahoe junior Ali Palacios, who was involved in both of her team’s goals, said her team just needed to play within the framework of the offense.
“We needed to calm down a little more because in the first half we were throughing the ball, and it didn’t really get us anywhere,” Palacios said. “In the second half we settled down, and we started passing more, and we picked up our game.”
South Tahoe moved the ball outside in the second half and made shorter, crisper passes under windy conditions to set up better scoring chances.
Palacios assisted on Becky Bruce’s goal in the 35th minute. She completed the Vikings’ scoring in the 60th minute, taking a pass from Gaby Yanez and blasting in a 20-yard shot.
“It is really important to us to win today. We haven’t lost at home in a while … two years,” Palacios said.
Even though the Vikings possessed the ball throughout the game, Hug was able to stay within striking range because of talented goalie Courtney Corley. Corley was well into double-digits in saves, ranging from side to side to make stops and preventing the Vikings from pulling away.
“Hug has a very good goalie … the best goalie we’ve played against so far,” said STHS coach Clint Lockhart.
South Tahoe had a number of chances to add to the lead, but Corley wouldn’t allow it. The best opportunity came in the waning minutes when Tori Lenstrom pounded a shot toward the far post, and Corley made a sprawling move to knock the ball away.
South Tahoe, counting its tournament matches last weekend, is 4-1 to begin the season. The Vikings play at McQueen on Sept. 8.
“These games are great because you get to build in before you have your first league game,” Lockhart said. “You get to try some things, different lineups just like we did at the Galena tournament and figure out exactly what we need to work on.”
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