With an exciting high-scoring game and strictly enforced rules emphasizing clean play, the Lake Tahoe Soccer League started its fifth season last Saturday evening at Bijou Community School.

Under perfect playing conditions and a sunny sky, local’s favorite Buenavista beat up-and-coming Pumas 3-2 in a game that had three lead changes, was up-tempo and highly entertaining.

But most of all, unruliness was never a factor.

On-field behavior had been the most discussed item throughout all of the preseason meetings held by the league and team representatives. Details like games suspensions, fines and even bans from the league were intrinsically worked out. The end result was to make attending the games a family-oriented form of entertainment while also watching out for those participating in the field.

“Unfortunately there is an image of the (soccer) league that the rest of the community appear to have, where they think of us as motivators of unruliness. It is the belief that those of us who play ftbol give a bad image (to our community) due to our behavior in the field,” noted Martn Jimenez, the league president.

Since Hispanics account for 90 percent of all participating players in the league, changing the image of the game was a priority that intends to also serve the purpose of changing the perception of the Hispanic community.

So far, it has made the games more entertaining and high scoring.

On Sunday, Marseille, led by French-born Guy D’Angelo, held off Mundo Latino 4-3 after seeing a 3-0 lead vanish toward the middle of the second half.

In the late game, aggressive title contender Tahoe Mutiny scored three quick goals in the first half that led to a 4-1 win over Puebla. This game saw 11 yellow cards and two ejections due to rough play and portrays the league’s efforts in maintaining discipline.

Valle de Ameca beat Atlas by a deceiving score of 2-1. Although the defending champions wasted several opportunities that would have blown up the score, it clearly showed they are primed to defend their title.

If people are interested in attending these fast-paced, high-scoring games, they are free. The schedule calls for two games four times a week starting at 5 p.m. Games will be played Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at Bijou Community School until Aug. 8. Playoffs begin Aug. 11. The playoffs, including the championship match, will be held at the South Tahoe Middle School field.

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