South Tahoe girls take state championship

Submitted to the Tribune
The South Tahoe girls soccer team celebrates their state championship win Saturday in Dayton, Nev.
Provided to the Tribune |

Brittany Hubberts, Ally King and Maia Bickert each scored goals as the South Tahoe girls soccer team captured the Division I-A state championship with a 3-2 win over Pahrump Valley on Saturday in Dayton.

Pahrump, which has won the past two state titles and defeated South Tahoe 8-3 last year’s state semifinals, never led in the game and saw its 22-game unbeaten streak snapped. It was the Trojans’ first loss of the season as they finished 18-1-2.

“Any goal in a state championship is a big goal, but Brittany’s goal off a cross from Jordyn Dion late in the first half really stunned Pahrump,” STHS first-year coach Jeremy Evans said. “There was a 30 mph wind behind Pahrump, they were pressuring us and our goal really was against the run of play. I thought if we were tied at half that we’d have a major advantage because we’d have the wind at our backs in the second half. So when Brittany’s goal was followed up by a Ally King header off a corner kick from Cassidy Jackson in the second half, Pahrump was just deflated. That team isn’t used to being down.”

With South Tahoe leading 2-0, Pahrump senior midfielder Sydney Sladek took advantage of a STHS defensive mistake and buried a shot to make it 2-1 in the 65th minute. But a few minutes later, Jensen Smith’s free kick from 30 yards out was mishandled by the Trojan goalkeeper and Bickert was there for the rebound to put the Vikings on top for good, 3-1. Sladek, who finishes her career as Nevada’s all-time leading career and single-season goal scorer, assisted on a goal with a few minutes left to finish the scoring.

South Tahoe (17-3-3), which was the No. 1 seed from the North, ended the season on a nine-game win streak and won its first 1-A state title since winning back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011. Pahrump, the top seed from the South, was ranked No. 8 in the latest NSCAA Region VI rankings, a region that includes New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

“I always believed that the girls would win this game, but honestly I am not sure if every girl on our team believed that after what happened last year,” Evans said. “Playing Pahrump with Sydney is stressful. I told my girls that we have a better team, last year was last year and if we leave it all on the field today, we will be state champs. As a coach I’m not even sure I totally believed that because we were facing one of the best players in the history of the state. She’s that good, and you just never know. As the game went on, though, I could tell all the girls started to believe and that was what propelled us to this victory. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

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