Lake Tahoe CC women’s soccer rallies to tie Feather River on emotional afternoon |

Lake Tahoe CC women’s soccer rallies to tie Feather River on emotional afternoon

Anthony Gentile
Members of the Feather River girls soccer observe a moment of silence prior to Friday’s match against Lake Tahoe. The contest was the Golden Eagles’ first following the death of teammate Grace Holland.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Before the Lake Tahoe Community College women’s soccer team took on Feather River College (Quincy, Calif.), the Coyotes showed compassion for their opponents. The Golden Eagles took the field Friday for the first time since the death of sophomore defender Grace Holland.

Holland was found dead at a cabin near Lake Almanor on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 12 — The Sacramento Bee reported that there was a party at the cabin the night before that at least 50 Feather River students had attended.

The Golden Eagles’ match scheduled at home against Redwoods last Tuesday was cancelled.

“The news came out Monday morning — they school president decided to do something and we decided how to approach it,” DeLeon said.

Both teams met at midfield prior to Friday’s kickoff for a moment of silence. Afterward, Lake Tahoe players presented their Feather River counterparts with flowers and exchanged embraces — during the match, Golden Eagles’ players wore black armbands emblazoned with “4 GRACE” to honor their fallen teammate.

“Feather River was riding the wave of emotions mixed with their skill, but all I asked my girls to do was match their intensity,” DeLeon said. “I think our team did a job well done.”

After kickoff, the match went scoreless until the 75th minute when Feather River (9-3-2, 3-0-1 Golden Valley) opened the scoring with a goal from forward Ryann Abeyta. The Golden Eagles’ score came on a defensive breakdown that allowed forward Sherifatu Sumaila to break free on the wing and slot the ball back to Abeyta inside.

Lake Tahoe (6-4-4, 2-1-2) continued to press after conceding the first goal — and eventually knotted the game up. In the second minute of stoppage time, midfielder Keely Martin capitalized on a favorable bounce to break through Feather River’s defense and place a shot in the upper left corner of the net to make it 1-1.

“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than skillful but combining them both with Keely’s skillful finish was awesome,” DeLeon said. “Feather River is (a good team), but this shows my girls that they can do it.”

After last week’s matches, Lake Tahoe was ranked 43rd in the state and 10th in Northern California.

The Coyotes returned to action at home against Shasta College (Redding, Calif.) and play at Feather River on Friday.

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