McQueen finishes what STHS can’t
Finishing on the soccer field – knocking home a goal with grace or deftly finding the open man – are ultimate expressions of the game.
The South Tahoe High boys soccer team treated Wednesday’s contest more like trigonometry or brussels sprouts than a means to win, as the Vikings lost to McQueen, 3-0, at South Tahoe Middle School.
“We had our chances to put them away and we didn’t. Our finishing was poor,” said Tahoe coach Joe Winters. “We had five good opportunities to score and we couldn’t. We’re not playing with passion.”
After a scoreless first half, in which Tahoe (1-3) played McQueen (4-0) to a quality standoff, Viking fans were expecting to see more of the same in the final 40 minutes.
Instead, Tahoe seemed lackluster in its effort in the midfield and on defense, while the offensive possessions continually sputtered.
“(Tahoe) was kind of predictable. Their midfield players weren’t even looking, they were just kicking the ball down the wings. And we were to slow to the ball and spent too much time holding and waiting in the first half. It was sloppy,” said McQueen coach Tony Filicchia, whose team has yet to allow a goal this season. “I explained to them at halftime what they needed to do, and obviously it was a much better half.”
The Lancers’ Aaron Dickens took advantage of a lazy Tahoe pass across the middle and smacked home the eventual game winner in the 62nd minute.
Tahoe had a chance to tie it just one minute later. In one of its better combinations, Alex Romagnolo passed ahead to Steven Fruitman, who left it for Travis McCollum, who was all alone in front of the goal. But epitomizing the day, McCollum rushed a shot that sailed over the crossbar more like a field goal than a soccer blast.
“There’s no leadership on the field. We have guys all alone in front of the goal with all kinds of time. No one is telling them they’ve got time, so they’re rushing shots or mishitting balls,” Winters said.
McQueen took control in the 75nd minute on Dickens’ second goal. A Matt Sewell goal in penalty time sealed it for the Lancers.
“All three of the goals were off turnovers from easy passes right to them. We give that to the other team (in) transition, then boom. Those are bad mistakes that we can’t make,” said Winters, whose Vikes had eight shots on goal. “That was not a three-nothing game. We just lost our composure once they got one up. We just fell apart in the back. McQueen was probably the best team in Division 1. I don’t know what more I can tell these guys. It’s there if the want to work for it.”
Tahoe’s brightest play came from freshman goalkeeper Peter Chirapotti, starting in his second varsity game. Chirapotti made 13 saves while showing solid hands and a mind for shooting angles that bodes well for the future, according to Winters.
“Peter kept us in the game. He was probably the MVP. We’re going to stay with him as long as he shows confidence,” Winters said.
Tahoe travels to Douglas today. Game time is 3:30 p.m.
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