Lis scores twice, South Tahoe boys soccer beats Fallon 2-0
In its second meeting with Fallon, the South Tahoe boys soccer team grabbed an early lead — and made sure it held up. Forward Michal Lis scored a goal in each half as the Vikings delivered a crucial 2-0 victory Thursday at Viking Stadium.
“It’s huge — every point counts right now,” Vikings head coach Ben Hannah said. “We solidified the fourth spot, if not better, today and that is really, really big for us — it gives us just a little bit of breathing space.”
South Tahoe (6-4-1, 6-3-1 I-A Northern) came out attacking, and forced the Greenwave to absorb pressure from the start of the match. Fallon (8-3-2, 6-2-1) employed a triangle in the midfield from the opening kickoff — and the Vikings countered by playing the ball outside rather than changing their tactics.
“We kept the ball away from the middle where it was all clogged up — we were able to play it on the outside and stay away from their strength in the middle,” Hannah said. “In the first half we were on fire — we played really, really good combinations.”
Lis and midfielder Danny Teran exploited Fallon’s defense on the right side of the field, and that partnership led to the first goal of the match. Lis opened the scoring in the 25th minute — and South Tahoe maintained that lead headed into halftime.
“They played tough defense with a triangle in the midfield and they were trying to wear us out,” Hannah said. “They did a good job of it for a while, but we were winning balls and were able to stop their passing lanes.”
Three minutes into the second half, Lis struck again to put South Tahoe ahead 2-0. A through ball from forward Danny Lizaola sent Lis into the box, and he spun a shot with the outside of his right foot past Fallon goalkeeper Miguel Ruiz and into the goal.
“We expected a lot of attack from South Tahoe — they’re talented that way,” Fallon head coach Nate Waite said. “I felt like we still had the potential to get one or two back after that.”
South Tahoe continued to control play after taking a two-goal lead. The Vikings outshot Fallon 7-0 in the last 27 minutes of the match — the Greenwave had a pair of corner kicks in the 71st minute, but neither resulted in a scoring chance as STHS goalkeeper Eduardo Martinez pitched a shutout.
“I have to hand it to South Tahoe — they’re a good team and they had an effective attack on us,” Waite said. “They earned the match.”
In the first meeting between the two teams in Fallon on Sept. 20, South Tahoe scored first before losing 2-1. On Thursday, the Vikings again opened the scoring then stayed in front with consistent attacking and pressure.
“We didn’t rest once we put one up on the board — we kept driving at them and we didn’t sit back,” Hannah said. “We came back behind the ball and were able to play a team defense today that really stifled their momentum going forward.”
A big reason why South Tahoe was able to control a congested midfield against Fallon on Thursday was the play of midfielder Johnny Medina. In the win, Medina both supported the Vikings’ defense and supplied their attack.
“He anchored the midfield and was playing one versus two a lot of the game,” Hannah said. “He really did a great job — he was stopping passing lanes and winning a lot of balls, making great choices and setting up offensive plays.”
South Tahoe returns to action against league-leading Truckee on Monday at Viking Stadium. The match is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.