South Tahoe offense freed to match Reed’s speed, lead
After South Tahoe High’s girls finally found the back of the net, they made up for lost time against Reed on Thursday.
Against Reed, need prompted South Tahoe to score with speed. The Vikings, who had gone 122 minutes without a goal, scored four times in 32 minutes Tuesday, enough to salvage a 4-4 tie in the non-conference game. South Tahoe’s drought had lasted throughout Saturday’s scoreless season-opener against Elko, and the first half Tuesday before sophomore forward Jen Galea scored two minutes into the second half. Galea, though, would rather have a win.
“I think we should’ve won it and we could have had it, but we didn’t, and it was kind of a letdown,” Galea said after scoring South Tahoe’s first two goals in the second half.
The Vikings (0-0-2) rallied from two goals down to tie Reed in the second half, then took their first lead when sophomore forward Diana Higman scored off a rebound in the 74th minute. But the Raiders (1-0-1) emerged from a chaotic injury-time period with a 4-4 tie when junior Sherika Hardaway scored off a corner kick.
At halftime, Vikings head coach Julia Peyser told her players they should be mad. After the halftime talk and a switch to a 4-4-2 set to counter Reed’s speed, they responded.
“I told them I was angry, and if they weren’t angry, they were crazy,” Peyser said. “I just encouraged the aggression in the girls … which they do have, they just don’t know it.”
That paid off two minutes into the half. Galea and Higman’s breakaway give-and-go culminated when Higman placed a perfect feed on Galea’s foot, cutting the lead to 2-1. Reed’s Mandy Herald scored her second goal at 47:00 to push the Raiders’ lead back to two, but Galea answered a minute later, slamming home a loose rebound. Jen Hamm tied the score in the 46th minute with a breakaway goal, and the Vikings were in touch with their aggression.
“The second half, we were talking, and we got mad,” said Higman, a sophomore. “We decided losing sucks, so we had to get the win.”
Higman nearly made it happen, picking up another loose ball in front of Reed’s net to score in the 74th minute. As the clock continued to run, Tahoe missed two golden opportunities for insurance goals: Hamm hammered a point-blank penalty kick into Reed’s goalie with two minutes left, then hit the crossbar as the game rolled into injury time. When Reed head coach Matt Brown drew a red card for protesting a no-call, and Hardaway’s near-perfect corner kick missed its target, time was running out for the Raiders. But Reed did the deed on its last chance, when Hardaway picked up a loose ball from a left-hand corner kick and scored, forging the tie.
“I think it was an equal game,” said Brown, who must sit out Reed’s next match with Reno. “Tahoe’s got a good team there. I made some changes that hurt us.”
Now that they have freed the offense, the Vikings need to get ready for their 3:30 p.m. match with Lowry on Friday at STMS. They may have to do it without senior sweeper Katrina Clapp, who has an injured toe, and Kelly Huck, who sustained a neck injury on a yellow-card clothesline from a Reed player. Peyser’s creed will be aggression and creativity, which is what worked against Reed.
“I expect them to play like that every single time because we know what they can do,” Peyser said.
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