One goal is enough for Vikes in division opener
South Tahoe High’s last two games were won with relative ease as the Vikings outscored Fallon and Damonte Ranch by a combined 7-1. But Tuesday’s Sierra Division opener against Reno was almost too tight for first-year South Tahoe coach Jose Gonzalez.
“Although we controlled a lot of the game, they were a difficult team to play against,” Gonzalez said. “We tried to keep scoring at the end, but their defense was pretty good and they did a good job of blocking our shots.”
Freshman Cassidy Berg scored off a Nicole Lindsay free kick in the 44th minute and South Tahoe held on for a 1-0 win at South Tahoe Middle School. It was the Vikings’ third consecutive win since a season-opening loss to Galena.
“I was a bit concerned about what team was going to show up,” said Gonzalez, whose team improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Sierra Division. “We had so many injured players coming into this game that I wasn’t sure who was going to play.”
More than a half dozen South Tahoe players played with minor injuries, including Cybil Robinson, Morgan Cook and Sarah Morrill. Sophomore Tess Braun missed the game with a quadriceps injury. But despite being at less than full strength, the Vikings controlled most of the game.
South Tahoe won the midfield battle with aggressive play but wasn’t able to generate enough serious scoring chances to put the Huskies away. After Berg’s game-winning goal, Reno gained momentum and pressured the South Tahoe defense until the final whistle.
In the 78th minute, Reno almost found the equalizer. Mary Skau’s free kick from 25 yards out curled past keeper Ellie Vermillion, but then it ricocheted off the crossbar before being cleared. Vermillion went on to post her second shutout of the season.
“We had our chances and they had their chances,” said Reno coach Ron Moreland, whose team now is 1-1 in the Sierra Division. “Tahoe’s a tough team. It’s tough to come up here and play, so a 1-0 loss isn’t that bad.”
South Tahoe plays at Wooster on Saturday, then has two key division games next week against Douglas and Carson.
“Bailey (Flood) did a good job in the middle for us and our entire defense did an awesome job,” Gonzalez said. “They really held it together back there. Hopefully, I’ll be able to give a lot of the girls rest this weekend. We want to get healthy for Carson and Douglas next week.”