South Tahoe girls soccer downs Spring Creek 7-2, makes statement to start league play
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The defending Div. I-A Northern League champion South Tahoe girls soccer team delivered an emphatic win in its league debut Wednesday, Sept. 9. The Vikings rode a fast start to a 7-2 win over Spring Creek at Viking Stadium, notching their first win of the 2015 season.
“It’s gigantic to kick things off like this,” Vikings coach Mark Salmon said. “Our goal is to make a clean run through league; it might be a lofty one, but it’s something we’re shooting for.”
South Tahoe (1-1, 1-0 I-A Northern) scored on its first shot of the match to set the tone for a comfortable victory.
Vikings midfielder Bailee Salmon found the back of the net in the sixth minute, the first of six first-half goals.
“It was nice to get some goals on the board,” Salmon said.
Forward Kenya Maltase added to South Tahoe’s lead six minutes later with a pair of goals in quick succession. The senior’s second strike was a left-footed blast in the 15th minute that put the Vikings ahead 3-0.
Spring Creek (3-5, 0-1) got on the board in the 18th minute when a defensive breakdown freed up forward Kate Meisner for a one-on-one chance that led to a goal. But South Tahoe responded with three goals in the last 16 minutes of the half — scores from midfielders Emma Dayberry, Jennifer Valdivia and Annie Brejc — to take a commanding 6-1 lead into the break.
“We’ve been working on movement and speed of play, so hopefully the girls can build off of that,” Salmon said. “For the most part we connect the dots, but it’s that 10 percent that we don’t that we create some problems for ourselves.”
In the second half, South Tahoe continued to control possession and offensive chances — but had trouble finishing. The Vikings traded a goal with Spring Creek over the last 40 minutes, and Brejc sealed the 7-2 victory with 30-yard run and one-on-one finish in the 77th minute.
“I think we played better in the second half,” Salmon said. “We possessed the ball better, we moved the ball better, but we didn’t score — and that’s the game.”
South Tahoe finished with an 18-5 advantage in shots on goal en route to its first victory of the campaign. Spring Creek placed third in league last season, and captured the Spring Creek Cup last Saturday, Sept. 5, with a tournament run that featured victories over league foes Lowry and Fallon.
“Spring Creek is one of the better teams, and they’ve got some good speed,” Salmon said. “It’s a young group rebuilding from last year, but they’re quality.”
The Vikings opened the season with a 6-1 home loss to Montgomery (Santa Rosa, Calif.) on Aug. 29. Dayberry scored South Tahoe’s lone goal in the loss, its first in three meetings against the CIF North Coast Section Div. I opponent.
South Tahoe returns to action Friday, Sept. 11, against Elko at Viking Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.