Hogan’s goal keys victory over Incline
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE. Calif. — Kelsey Hogan maneuvered the ball to her right foot about 30 yards from Incline’s net and unleashed fury.
The South Tahoe sophomore booted a liner into the upper right corner of the net Saturday morning in the second half to break a scoreless tie and help the Vikings beat the visiting Highlanders 2-0 in a Northern League A soccer clash.
“To be honest, it’s crazy to say that that is her range,” said South Tahoe head coach Mark Salmon. “Right about 25-30 yards from an angle, she’s clinical. It’s side net and there’s nothing keepers can do when she hits it well.”
And she hit it well. From the moment it came off her foot, it had goal written all over it.
“It was a beautiful shot,” said Incline head coach Michael Coudriet. “If we lose with that type of shot, well, that was a well earned shot.”
Morrison Salmon added another goal about a minute later. The junior chipped a shot from about 25 yards with her left foot. The ball went high in the sky and dropped into the goal from a sharp angle, again giving the keeper no chance to reach it unless she grew another few inches.
South Tahoe freshman Marley Befu assisted on both goals.
There were few scoring chances for each team throughout the 80 minutes. South Tahoe controlled most of the possession while Incline built a wall in their box trying to keep out the Vikings.
“I’m super proud of our team,” Coudriet said. “We had a unique game plan. South Tahoe is a really strong team, they have a lot of great players that have worked together for years. So we had to change our game plan and from what I saw, giving up two goals from outside the box, that might happen but we executed strong defense and kept them pressed. I feel like we gave them a good run for their money and I think they saw a team in Incline that they realize they’re going have to contend with.”
While the Highlanders guarded the middle, the Vikings attacked the flanks, repeatedly driving down the wing. They would send crosses into the box but never connected.
“When teams play like that against us, we have to be more creative and sort that out,” Salmon said. “It’s how do we get those opportunities? If we try to beat them up the middle you’re taking on three or four defenders at a time. Let’s get the ball wide if they are central and get numbers in the box and finish those opportunities. We’ve been horrible at finishing crosses and set pieces. Our corner kicks have been beautiful but we can’t get a body on them to finish. But we got a 2-0 win against a good team in our league that gives us some confidence.”
South Tahoe (6-1, 3-0 Northern) remained unbeaten in league along with Truckee (4-0) and North Tahoe (2-0) while Incline fell to 2-2, just behind North Valleys (2-1).
The top five finishers in league qualify for the northern regional tournament that will be played the beginning of November at South Tahoe High School.
Incline will get another shot at South Tahoe next month and Coudriet hopes his team will be at full strength to give the Vikings more of a run for their money.
The teams will meet again Wednesday, Oct. 15, in Incline Village.
“We were missing a few starters, two midfielders that we normally have, and that will change our game,” Coudriet said. “It boosted our confidence to come out here missing a few players, still get some subs in and bench contributing and give them a good competition.
“My goal was to not give up anything cheap and the girls executed the game plan the coaches asked, perfectly. A couple of tweaks here and there and I think we’ll be competing again when we see them at home in October.”