South Tahoe girls soccer in final four
The South Tahoe Vikings girls’ soccer team may have fell short of the 3A Northern Region championship Saturday, Nov. 4, but that wasn’t the goal. The Vikings’ goal is to win a state championship and they will fight for that later this week.
The Vikings shutout Spring Creek 1-0 on Friday, Nov. 3, to qualify for the state tournament but lost 4-0 to Truckee the next day in the battle for the north.
South Tahoe freshman Kelsey Hogan scored a second-half goal that was enough for the Vikings to claim their northern semifinal victory. It was Hogan’s team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Freshman goalkeeper Phoebe Barkann recorded her 11th shutout on the year.
Against Truckee, the Vikings (15-7-1) went into halftime tied but surrendered all four goals in the second half, three by Wolverines star Ava Seelenfreund. She scored her first goal with about 60 minutes left.
“We were tied at halftime, but Truckee still had the run of play,” said Vikings head coach Mark Salmon. “We were man-marking Ava for awhile, but that’s not our style. It’s just, ‘let’s go play.’ They hit two bangers from distance that there were no chances to save them. One bounced off the side post, hit the other side post and then went in. But by then we had pulled our starters and were resting players and knew the writing was on the wall. The regional title is not what we are after. We’re super excited to get to the state championships.”
Salmon wants his girls ready when they “host” Sunrise Mountain at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at Spanish Springs High School in Sparks, Nevada in the state semifinals. It’s not quite a home game, but it’s a lot closer to home than it is for the Sunrise Mountain Miners.
“It’s 100 percent a home game for us,” Salmon said. “It’s a national holiday (Veteran’s Day), our fans can get there and there’s no excuse to come support us on Friday. I’ve got kids from Douglas and Whittell that we played with in club that are coming down to support us. From a fan base perspective it’s 100 percent a home game. It’s an hour and a half bus ride instead of a nine-hour bus ride. We get to sleep in our own beds. It’s undoubtedly an advantage.”
Salmon and his staff will make some changes heading into the state tournament after not producing the goals he envisioned. And he wants to give teams a different look. The Vikings enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed in the north and will be playing the top seed from the south.
Salmon is also concerned because Sunrise Mountain (12-2-3), from Las Vegas, seems like an underdog opponent that is on a roll. He says the team reminds him of the team that last year knocked the Vikings out of postseason in overtime.
“They look like a really scrappy, sleeper team that reminds me a lot of Western,” Salmon said. “So it’s odd that we get sort of a take two. They have a powerhouse striker, Alexandra Trinidad, who scored both their goals in the southern region title game. She might be a hair over 5 foot and the whole team is small scrappy, quick, lots of heart and physical from what I understand. But we definitely have some advantages. I’m nervous. It almost seems like we’re the favorites coming in and we shouldn’t be.”