South Tahoe High School will host girls, boys northern regional playoffs
If the South Tahoe girls’ soccer team wasn’t hard enough to beat, the Vikings will get an extra advantage next week when the playoffs begin.
South Tahoe locked up the No. 1 seed this past week by finishing the Northern League undefeated. The Lady Vikings will host throughout the regional playoffs starting Thursday, Nov. 1, when the 2018 Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association 3A Northern Region Girls’ Soccer Championship Tournament begins.
South Tahoe High School is this year’s host for both the girls’ and boys’ respective tournaments. Games will played at both the high school and at South Tahoe Middle School.
The tournaments begin Nov. 1 and last through Saturday, Nov. 3.
The Lady Vikings hosted rival and two-time defending state champion Truckee Oct. 25, after press deadline, to close out the regular season. The rivalry match was pretty much a tune up for postseason. Each team had already clinched their respective playoff seeds with Truckee at No. 2.
The Vikings have buried the competition this season and suffered just one loss early in the pre-league season. Their spot in the 8-team playoff bracket seemed set long ago, and the other three playoff qualifiers — North Tahoe, North Valleys and Incline — are all jockeying for a final position during this last week of the season.
Five 3A Northern League A qualifiers will be pitted against three 3A Northern League B teams. Instead of league B it might as well be 2A with the schools much smaller in enrollment.
A curious first round/quarterfinal match that could happen is North Valleys, a lower seed, playing Whittell in Zephyr Cove. North Valleys has the enrollment of a 4A school while Whittell 1A-sized school.
The Lady Vikings (17-0 in league play as of Thursday afternoon) path to a championship will start in all likelihood with Fernley at a time and field to be determined.
The Incline Highlanders (10-6) are facing two playoff teams on the road to finish the season. They played North Valleys (10-5-2) Thursday night, after press deadline, and finish the season at 2 p.m. Saturday at North Tahoe (12-3).
Incline sits in the fifth and final playoff qualifying position going into the final two games. A lost at North Valleys would cement the Highlanders as the fifth seed.
Unbeaten Whittell (8-0-1) leads league B and could be in line to host Incline in the first round.
The Viking boys rode a four-game win streak into Truckee Thursday night, after press deadline, and those two rivals are vying for the fourth and fifth seeds. They both finish the regular season Saturday against teams higher in the league standings, making Thursday’s result the likely decider on who gets the higher ranking.
The South Tahoe boys will have home field advantage for as long as they win. The Vikings earned the No. 5 seed and will play League B’s top seed, the Fernley Vaqueros (9-0). South Tahoe crushed Fernley 5-1 last year in the first round.
“Hosting playoffs is an honor,” said Vikings head coach Leon Abravanel. “Vikings Stadium is the best soccer facility in northern Nevada so the playing field will be even and we look forward to great competition. Playoffs are a time of desire, who wants it more? The team that wants it more will likely prevail. Our theme is ‘good things happen to those who want it more.’”
The top two teams for both girls and boys advance to the state playoffs. The semifinal games on Friday, Nov. 2, will determine who reaches state. Each team that reaches their respective finals will head to the state playoffs the following week, Nov. 9-10, at Cimarron-Memorial High School in Clark County.
“We urge the community to come out, especially Friday night for the semifinals to support our student athletes who have been working hard both on the field and in the classroom,” Abravanel said.