South Tahoe boys’ soccer latest to fall against 3A newcomer North Valleys
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe became the latest soccer team to suffer defeat at the hands of North Valleys.
The Vikings put up a strong effort Wednesday evening that pleased their coach, but still suffered a 3-0 defeat to the visiting Panthers.
“What’s ridiculous about this league was that team was in the state championship last year in 4A,” said Vikings head coach Leon Abravanel. “You’re talking about all the big schools in the state. And now they’re playing at 3A and we get them and have to deal with them.”
North Valleys was bumped down to 3A this year after being run off the field, or court, in many sports, but boys’ soccer was not one of them. The football team last season won a single game and the boys’ basketball and baseball teams each won just five games. The girls’ hoops and volleyball teams didn’t win a single contest.
North Valleys boys’ soccer has cruised this year in the 3A Northern League outscoring opponents 38-2 through six victories without a loss.
The Vikings loss Wednesday was one of the more competitive matches that Panthers have played. Sparks scored a goal and lost 3-1, but Truckee lost 8-0, Churchill County lost 12-1, Lowry lost 8-0 and North Tahoe fell 4-0.
“They’re a good team, but we’re a good team too,” Abravanel said. “It was good battle. As far as their results in league, that might be the best performance anybody has put up against them. They were able to break us down a couple of times and took advantage by finishing. I’m proud of my boys though, as far as having 13 guys on the bench that could actually play today, we gave them a good game. We frustrated them in the first half and a little in the second.”
The Vikings had some opportunities. While the Panthers controlled most of the possession, South Tahoe forwards Oscar Marzocco and Josh Bull looked dangerous on counter attacks but couldn’t find the net.
“It comes down to us finishing our opportunities and being able to manufacture and create more goal scoring chances,” Abravanel said.
The top five teams from the Northern League A qualify for postseason and the Vikings are right in the mix with 10 games remaining.
Behind North Valleys in the league standings are Truckee (5-1), Sparks (4-1), North Tahoe (4-2) with the Vikings (3-2-1) in fifth, just ahead of Elko (2-2-1).
South Tahoe next will play Saturday, Sept. 22, at Lowry (2-4) before coming home Tuesday to host rival Truckee.
“Everything is in the balance as far as which way this season could turn,” Abravanel said. “We’re one player being ineligible from having an unsuccessful season. We’ve been focused on our maturity this year. We have just two seniors but we need to grow up now. We need to stop getting yellow and red cards. On and off the field, if we can stay in line, we have a chance to get to state this year. I haven’t seen a team that we can’t compete with. We can make it to state, but all the little stuff we’ve been doing will kill us.”