South Tahoe girls’ soccer defeats Lakers, grab No. 2 seed for playoffs
Down two starters, and with a couple of other first stringers battling injuries, the South Tahoe Vikings girls’ soccer grabbed the No. 2 seed away from the North Tahoe Lakers Saturday, Oct. 28, in the regular season finale.
With Truckee winning the 3A Northern League title, the Vikings and Lakers battled for second place and South Tahoe came away with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over its North Shore rival.
The Vikings fell behind early but didn’t let it affect them.
“We played with a skeleton crew but the girls have been playing really well lately,” said Vikings head coach Mark Salmon. “It was a bummer to go down early, but it didn’t take the wind out of the girls’ sails.”
Keytie Jacqueline Bravo-Cazares continued her late season offensive push with her fifth goal of the year, all in the last seven games, to tie the game in the first half.
“Jackie made a great hustle play and chased the ball into the back of the net,” Salmon said. “Jackie has been a nice late season surprise. We switched our offense a few weeks back and the girls are figuring things out. It’s a nice time for her to be peaking.”
After scoring, the Vikings gained confidence and started to possess the ball better and used a nice buildup to score the game winner.
Ashley Trejo was the recipient of good ball movement and converted a “wide open” shot to make it 2-1 at halftime.
“It was a nice way for us to score,” Salmon said. “But we played more of a prevent style in the second half and I wish we wouldn’t have done that. We played long ball and kept clearing and they had plenty of chances.”
The Vikings have won eight of their last nine games overall and surrendered just four goals during that stretch. They will also get re-enforcements for their first-round playoff game Thursday, Nov. 2, against Whittell at Lowry High School in Winnemucca, Nevada. Six players from the junior varsity team will join the varsity team for postseason, Salmon said.
The Vikings (13-6-1, 12-3-1 3A Northern League) take on the Warriors (10-2-2 2A Northern League) who finished second place in league. The small-school Warriors have an uphill battle against South Tahoe, but they will also be playing against friends and neighbors.
“I coached some of those girls in club, and they have some players that are fast and have played at the highest level,” Salmon said. “They’re gonna want to push us because they’ll be playing against friends, so they’ll play us hard. I’m not looking past them for sure.”