Adult soccer league finals brings community together |

Adult soccer league finals brings community together

Dan ThriftSan Antonio's Enrique Avina, right, battles a Corona player for possession during the South Tahoe Adult Soccer League championship Monday at South Tahoe Middle School

On Monday afternoon at South Tahoe Middle School, young won out over old.

San Antonio captured the South Tahoe Adult Soccer League title with a 4-2 win over Corona in a matchup billed as young versus old. San Antonio has three high-school aged players. Two of them, Leon Abravanel and Victor Mariscal, seniors at South Tahoe High School, scored goals for their club team while their high school teammates practiced for the first time this season on an adjoining field.

The game started out close, with Corona’s Ricardo Solorio and San Antonio’s Mariscal trading goals. Still in the first half, San Antonio took a 2-1 lead when Mariscal sent the ball in from midfield past goalie Vincente Ruelas, whose leaping dive came up short.

In the second half, Corona came back strong to score off a Solorio kick and even the score at 2. But the young team was just getting its second wind. Manuel Lizaola headed in a roller past Corona’s goalie, who was out of position on the play for a 3-2 lead and Abravanel sealed the win with a goal in the closing minutes.

“We did it with only 10 players because we had one (out) on a red card,” said San Antonio coach Jorge Salazar, explaining that the team is named for a small town in Jalisco state of Mexico. “We are the young team because we have three strong high school players, Victor, Noe (Estrada) and Leon. They are really good players.”

Meanwhile, Corona coach Eduardo Ruelas took the heat for his team’s loss.

“I made a bad substitution,” Ruelas said. “But we are happy. It is very good competition. See you next year.”

The league president, Martin Jimenez, puts together a community event around the finals, with a DJ sound system, food and a big awards ceremony with trophies and plaques following competition. More than 300 people turned out to watch the game and chat with neighbors and friends on the sidelines.

“I just want to say thank you to the community for coming out here to watch the game,” Jimenez said. “We have a good turnout here and also during the regular season. I think we have the best soccer around the lake, including Carson City. Ours is very competitive and this year we made two divisions of young and old. Ever since we started the league everybody is so happy to come and watch these games, especially the finals.”

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