Lady Vikings begin quest for state soccer title early Friday morning
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe will be playing in the state soccer tournament Friday morning before many stores are even open.
The Lady Vikings kickoff at 9 a.m. against Southern Nevada’s top seed, Virgin Valley, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 3A State Soccer Championships Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16, at Wooster High School in Reno.
With the temperature hovering around 40, it’s not going to be too cold, but it will be early. Most of their games this year were played in the evening.
Their game could be at 4 a.m. during a snowstorm in a hay field, and the Vikings would be there and ready to play.
“We’re mountain girls, we don’t like the warm weather,” said South Tahoe senior Morrison Salmon. “So we’ll be more than ready at 9 a.m. in the cold or whenever. This year we’re coming in with a greater fire.”
The Vikings (18-3-3) are the No. 2 seed for the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 3A State Soccer Championships Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16, at Wooster High School in Reno.
They suffered a 2-0 loss to rival Truckee in the northern regional tournament last Saturday, their first loss since Aug. 24, a span of three and a half months.
But Salmon thinks the loss was good for them. The Lady Vikings last year won the northern regional tournament by beating Truckee in the final then went to state and lost to the Wolverines for the top prize.
South Tahoe is hoping to return the favor this year.
“In my opinion, winning region last year hurt us,” Salmon said. “We were super happy about winning and at state it was like, “We got this,” and we didn’t. I think the loss actually helped us, that this is not going to come easy, we’re going to have to work hard and earn it.”
Virgin Valley (15-2-3) finished second in the Southern League before knocking off league champ Boulder City in the regional final — the same situation as Truckee and South Tahoe.
The Vikings and Virgin Valley have no common opponents.
Vikings head coach Mark Salmon has acquired video of the Bulldogs and feels his team has a good shot to reach the state final.
“They have good size and physicality,” said the head coach. “If we can retain possession, play simple and let the ball do the work, we’ll be alright. They play with a lot of spirit and are very talented.”
If the Vikings knock off the Bulldogs, they are hoping to get another shot at their rival, Truckee, the three-time defending state champions.
Truckee plays Boulder City at 11 a.m. right after the Vikings play the Bulldogs.
The championship game will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday on the same short, grassy field.