LTCC dumps Feather River with big 2nd half
The smell of hot dogs and hamburgers on the barbecue made the Lake Tahoe Community College boys’ soccer home match Friday afternoon seem like a picnic in the park.
But the play on the field was anything but a picnic.
The Coyotes and Feather River went after each for nearly two hours after all the extra time was added. There were warnings from referees. Yellow cards were passed out like candy on Halloween. The Feather River coach was booked for his sideline antics, constantly directing verbal jabs at the officials.
And then finally a red card was shown to Feather River.
The Coyotes scored moments after the Golden Eagles went down a man and added two more in the next nine minutes to defeat Feather River 3-1 on Fan Appreciation Day at Coyote Stadium.
“We started slow in conference and this was a big one,” said Coyotes head coach Nicholas Arbelaez. “Feather River was up to second in the nation at one point and for me, I feel like this was a statement game for our conference. They’re a great team and we still have to go to their place. But this was a must win for us to me in many facets, not just confidence, but also team moral going into next week when we finish off the first half of conference play. To get a win like this, after they scored, my men battled today and showed a lot of character, a lot of poise in a physical game in what has become one of the nastiest rivalries in California. I’m proud of the kids.”
Just moments after Feather River received a red card for an over aggressive tackle, Josh Corlett put the Coyotes ahead with 25 minutes left.
Corlett corralled a pass just inside the box and fired a shot into the bottom right corner of the net past the diving goalie.
Corlett sprinted to the Coyotes bench where the celebration ensued.
“Josh came on and does the dirty work,” said Vikings co-team captain Sean Keith. “When that first goal went in we were like, ‘OK, the flood gates are open, we can score on these guys.’”
Just two minutes later Feather River scored the equalizer. The Golden Eagles tried to outdo the Coyotes with their celebration.
But a minute later, Manuel Sarabia gave the Coyotes the lead for good with a header off a free kick that he lofted up and over the keeper from about 15 yards.
A few minutes after that, Keith scored on a professional looking shot.
He threw in the ball to striker Jeorge Medina, who held the possession, then dished back to Keith. Keith took the ball off one bounce and blasted it by the diving keeper into the bottom left corner of the net.
“Sean’s the backbone of this team,” Arbelaez said. “We have three captains, and he has so much poise and he’s able to produce for us. Two weeks ago we would have been rattled when they scored, but we stayed calm and his goal was just class, it was unbelievable.”
“Jorge is really good at holding the ball and he laid it up for me and I got a good swing on the ball,” Keith said.
The Coyotes moved to 2-1-1 in Golden Valley Conference play and 7-3-3 overall.
“I think we came out and really wanted to defend our home field advantage and I think we did that really well,” Keith said. “We outplayed them. Feather River always brings physicality. We knew that and were ready for it. We wanted to match their physicality but we also want to show our technical ability.”
The Coyotes have won two straight and next will visit College of the Redwoods at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10.