STHS boys post soccer win |

STHS boys post soccer win

Mike Traum

It’s beginning to come together.

With four starting sophomores and a dire need to play more as a unit, it’s been an adventure every time the South Tahoe High boys soccer team has taken the field this season.

But the Vikings (5-2) displayed playoff potential in a 3-1 win over Hug on Tuesday at the South Tahoe Middle School.

“There’s a lot of new guys and we’re all young. We have to try to play as a team. It’s been tough. But the last few days we’ve getting better and becoming more of a team,” said Viking sophomore Evan Baker.

Tahoe had eight shots on goal and 12 total in the first half, while Hug looked to score only once. But no shots found the net and the first 40 minutes ended scoreless.

“We just weren’t patient enough or finishing. But we were pressuring and had all kinds of opportunities,” said Tahoe coach Joe Winters.

The Vikes’ persistence paid off just eight minutes into the second half. Baker looped a cross to the front of Hug’s net where David Justus controlled it and nubbed a shot to the right-upper corner for a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, a handball in the box gave Brian Winters a penalty kick, which he left-footed past the frozen Hawks keeper for a 2-0 advantage.

While the offense clicked into gear, Tahoe’s defense continued to stymie the Hug attack by controlling the midfield with confidence. The Hawks battled to find scoring positions, but to no avail. Even when Tahoe keeper Patrick Reardon, a sophomore who finished with three saves in his first-ever varsity start, let one bounce off his hands, the fullbacks were in position to clear the threat.

“It’s our job to step up,” said Viking sophomore defender Paul Wilson. “We’re working hard because we want to go to zone.”

Hug’s lone goal, which closed the lead to 2-1 at 68:30, came on one of the very few mental mistakes, when the ball wasn’t cleared far enough and induced a quick shot past Reardon.

But the Vikings persevered and their final score typified the style they’ll need to make another Northern Nevada playoff appearance. Controlled and patient, Baker centered a ball to Andy Butcher, who delivered a precise dish to Winters, which he in turn rifled into the net.

“(The key) was getting the opportunities. We worked the ball, played good passes, found the open man and worked to get an open shot,” Joe Winters said. “Things are looking better. We moved some guys around, found some new combinations and the guys are stepping up.”

Tahoe travels to Sparks on Saturday.

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