Low-scoring affair may be in store for Vikings and Lancers in soccer match-up
The Viking boys soccer team is one step closer to returning to the 4A Nevada state title game.
But first South Tahoe High has to go through McQueen today at 6:30 p.m. in the zone semifinals at Reed High in Sparks.
And the Vikings and the Lancers are no strangers to each other either.
South Tahoe handed McQueen a 2-0 defeat earlier in the season.
That was then and this is now, and the playoffs are a whole new season.
“They got some chances late in the game,” Vikings Joe Winters said.
According to Winters, the Lancers play a very conservative game. They pack the defense in tight and use long passes to the set up the offense.
McQueen’s main offensive weapon is a German exchange student who scored all three goals in their opening-round win over Douglas.
“He’s going to be our main defensive concern,” Winters said. “We know he can be their goal scorer.”
With most of the players in the defensive half for the Lancers, South Tahoe may have to work for most of their offensive looks.
However, Winters has many weapons he can choose from. His main weapons are freshman Alex Torres and seniors Dave Brown and Carlos Davila.
“They’re going to want to keep the score low and hope to use one of their long balls to go up 1-0 and play the game out,” Winters said. “If we can get a couple of goals early, then we can force them to change their game plan.”
McQueen’s defense may be tough, but South Tahoe has posted 10 shutouts in 17 games, mainly on the strength of a defense anchored by goalkeeper Pete Chiarpotti.
“We’ve only given up 10 goals in those 17 games,” Winters said, “so we know how to play in tight games.”
In their first-round game, the Vikings switched from 4-4-2 alignment to a 3-4-3 early in the second half and the offense kicked into gear. The same change isn’t guaranteed to happen again.
“If they’re not sending a lot of guys up, we won’t need as many defenders,” Winters said. “We can change things up a lot if we need to.”
Something that hasn’t been in the Vikings game plan all season is playing under the lights. Today’s game will be the first time that South Tahoe has played at Reed as well.
“It’ll be a different look for both of us,” Winters said. “It’ll be a good game.”
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