Lake Tahoe men’s soccer marches into Elite 8
Lake Tahoe threw rankings out the window as soon as it learned it was the No. 13 seed out of 16 teams in California Community College Athletic Association Men’s Soccer Regional Championships.
“Our seed is just a number,” said Coyotes head coach Nicholas Arbelaez while his team was preparing for postseason.
As it turns out, he was right.
The Coyotes knocked out No. 4 Folsom Lake in double overtime to start postseason, and four days later, Saturday, Nov. 24, eliminated No. 12 Skyline 1-0 to reach the Elite 8 in California and the semifinals of the northern region bracket.
The Coyotes are the first No. 13 seed or higher to reach the state quarterfinals.
“It’s pretty neat,” Arbelaez said. “I’m really happy for these men.”
Lake Tahoe (14-7-2) will be put to the test Tuesday, Nov. 26, when they visit top seed Fresno (15-1-7) for a trip to Final Four on the line. The Coyotes left Monday for their clash.
“It was another gutsy effort by the men to win on the road,” Arbelaez said. “We have a tough test tomorrow against No. 1 seed Fresno but we are up for the challenge and playing with confidence at the right time of year.”
Lake Tahoe scored the winning goal came in the 27thminute of the second half.
The Coyotes freshmen duo up top of Guillermo Perez and Niko Dongmann teamed to score Lake Tahoe’s winning goal in the 27thminute of the second half.
Perez sent in a “beautiful” ball into the box from about 30 yards and Dongmann put it into the net with a one-time finish.
Coyotes goalkeeper Francisco Cazares came up with several saves to help preserve the win.
“It was a great game, Skyline was one of the better teams we have seen all year,” Arbelaez said. “You could see the fatigue from our double overtime win Tuesday. Skyline high pressed us in the second half and Francisco came up huge for us.”
The higher seeds in the men’s bracket have been obliterated with the No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 teams all being eliminated, leaving No. 6 Butte and No. 10 San Francisco in the opposite side of the bracket.
The Lake Tahoe men last reached the Final Four in 2015.