Lady Vikings soccer closing in on Northern League title, No. 1 seed for postseason
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe is in the driver’s seat to win a Northern League soccer championship and also earn the No. 1 seed for postseason for the second year in a row.
The Lady Vikings cleared what appears to be their toughest hurdle left in the season Tuesday afternoon by tying rival Truckee, 1-1, on the road.
South Tahoe (13-2-3, 12-0-3 Northern) remained unbeaten in league play with just three games remaining. With 39 points, the Vikings lead Truckee (10-2-3 Northern) by six points and North Tahoe (7-3-6 Northern), Thursday’s opponent, by 12 points.
“The draw was acceptable, it’s always hard to go to Truckee and get results,” said Vikings head coach Mark Salmon. “We didn’t have our best day for sure, but it’s a tough environment. They have a lot of people who support them and rightfully so. It was a pressure cooker, but it’s a good lead up to the playoffs.”
Kelsey Hogan, the Vikings leading point scorer, recorded South Tahoe’s only goal and it came in the first half.
Hogan was right in front of the net when a loose ball “ping-ponged” around and fell to her feet. The junior promptly put it in the net to tie the game a few minutes after Truckee had taken the lead.
“When you can equalize within 5 minutes of them taking the lead, that should give them a ton of confidence,” Salmon said Wednesday. “They scored from distance on a perfect shot and I would say each team had better chances to score throughout the game.”
Hogan is tied for the team lead in goals with Giovana De Loia with 14 and has a team-high 12 assists for a total of 40 points. She also tops the entire league in points and goals.
De Loia has 31 points and the third member of South Tahoe’s strike team Anjelina Maltase has 12 goals, five assists and 31 points.
The front three are responsible for 40 of the Vikings 67 goals this season and have assisted on 20 others.
Hogan, De Loia and Maltase are first, second and fourth in the league in scoring, respectively.
The Vikings played North Tahoe at home Thursday night on senior night and a win would clinch the league title with South Tahoe already having defeated Truckee 2-0 at home in September. The Vikings previously tied the Lakers 0-0 earlier this year at Tahoe City.
Salmon doesn’t want to look ahead and is focused on the Lakers.
If the Vikings don’t clinch Thursday, they play at Churchill County (3-9-2) Tuesday and at North Valleys (5-8-2) Friday, Nov. 1, to finish the regular season.
“We can clinch, but I don’t want us to look past anybody,” Salmon said. “Every team brings a different energy when they play us. But North Tahoe is a big one. It was a tough place to play over there and we want it to be the same way when they come here.”