South Tahoe boys soccer downs Fernley 8-0, caps first round of league play unbeaten |

South Tahoe boys soccer downs Fernley 8-0, caps first round of league play unbeaten

Anthony Gentile
South Tahoe defender Oscar Villagrana dribbles the ball upfield against Fernley in a Div. I-A Northern League match on Saturday, Oct. 3, at Viking Stadium.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Through the first round of Div. I-A Northern League play, the South Tahoe boys soccer team still hasn’t lost a match. The Vikings beat Fernley 8-0 on Saturday, Oct. 3, at Viking Stadium to close out the first round, extending their unbeaten streak to eight matches.

“That streak is the most important thing right now,” Vikings senior Martin Jimenez said. “We want to keep that streak going and take it all the way to state.”

South Tahoe (4-0-4 I-A Northern) struck 25 seconds after the opening kickoff to set the stage for a lopsided victory. Miki Crotta found the back of the net with a 15-yard blast for a goal in the first minute, the first of three for the Vikings in the first half.

“I think it was lucky today,” Crotta said of his early goal.

“That streak is the most important thing right now.”Martin JimenezVikings senior

Later in the opening half, Jimenez scored a pair of goals 10 minutes apart to put South Tahoe three up. In the 26th minute, Jimenez finished a cross from Johnny Medina with a header — then he broke free and beat Fernley’s goalkeeper one-on-one to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead just before the break.

“Me and Johnny go way back and I felt it,” Jimenez said of his header. “I saw him coming back, he saw me and we made that play like we usually do.”

In the second half, South Tahoe scored five goals in the first 24 minutes to bury Fernley (1-9, 1-7) and deliver its most decisive victory of the season. Crotta again struck early, scoring two minutes after kickoff with a right-footed finish that made it 4-0.

“We wanted to keep possession of the ball and go straight to the goal,” Crotta said.

Four minutes later, Gaby Martinez produced a stunning free kick to extend the Vikings’ lead — the senior scored from 38 yards out with a blast that flew into the top left corner of the net. Carson Alexander, Cesar Hernandez and Antonio Facio netted goals for South Tahoe later in the second half to punctuate the 8-0 win.

“It was just playing our ball like we always do,” Jimenez said. “We got the result we wanted — we got the win.”

South Tahoe is one of only two unbeatens at the midway point of league play along with league-leading Sparks (7-0-1), and currently sits in second place tied with Elko (5-1-1) and Truckee (5-1-2). The top six teams make the postseason, with the top two receiving first round byes.

“Everything has gone pretty well, smooth and mellow,” Jimenez said. “We expect it — we got a couple ties that should have been wins, but we’re still on track. Our mission is to take state, and that’s what we’re going to go for.”

The Vikings aim to end their 2015 season on their home field in the Div. I-A state tournament. And they’re still in position to reach that goal after the first half of league play.

“We have to stick together,” Jimenez said. “We’re a family — it’s a Viking family — we all play together, and we just have to stay focused on what we want.”

South Tahoe returns to action at home Friday, Oct. 9, when it hosts Elko to start the second round of league play. Kickoff at Viking Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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