South Tahoe girls soccer blanks Elko, Spring Creek, delivers first shutouts of season
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe girls soccer team did something it hasn’t done this season during a two-match homestand last weekend, Sept. 23-24. And the Vikings did it twice.
South Tahoe shut out Elko and Spring Creek at Viking Stadium during 3A Northern League matches played on consecutive days. The clean sheets were the Vikings’ first of the season, and came courtesy of consistent play.
“It’s a huge confidence builder for a young back line,” Vikings coach Mark Salmon said. “We were able to move some new players back there and maintain those shutouts — and really not have any scary opportunities from the opposition.”
South Tahoe (4-4, 4-2 3A Northern) opened the home set with a 3-0 win over Elko on Friday. The Vikings led by a goal at halftime and pulled away from the Indians after the break to end a two-game losing streak.
“We had a pretty rough first half against Elko — we were continuing to play panicked,” Salmon said. “By the second half, we massaged things out.”
Junior Bailey Segers finished with a goal and two assists in Friday’s win, and junior Lulu Gutierrez also found the back of the net. Senior Ana Garcia and sophomore Riley Turner added an assist apiece.
“They finally put it together to calm down and not try to penetrate an area that there was no space to be found,” Salmon said. “The focus has been patience, and preventing turnovers and unforced errors.”
The following morning, the Vikings beat Spring Creek 4-0. South Tahoe rode three first-half goals to a victory over the Spartans, as senior Claudia Janese delivered a second straight shutout behind a back line anchored by sophomore Lillie McGuire.
“We played a full 80 minutes for the first time this season,” Salmon said. “We put it all together, and it could have been seven or eight goals.”
Four players scored in the Vikings’ win on Saturday — Garcia, senior Emma Dayberry, junior Annie Brejc and junior Samantha Frates. Dayberry tallied three assists while senior Jennifer Valdivia added one.
“Our most powerful offensive players are our wingers — they have power, endurance, speed and good technical abilities,” Salmon said. “Annie and Emma have been able to get in, but we hadn’t seen the offensive performances from them yet.
“It really starts with those two players. They create a lot for us.”
The Vikings return to action Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Fallon. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.