STHS girls faces Reed (again)
In the 21st century, there aren’t two Northern 4A girls’ soccer teams with a longer playoff history than Reed and South Tahoe. From 2001 to 2003, the Raiders ended the Vikings’ season in the playoffs, twice in the first round and another time in the regional semifinals.
In 2004, South Tahoe exacted revenge on Reed when then-freshman Tess Braun scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 first-round playoff game. The teams’ fifth meeting of the millennium takes place when they meet in the Northern 4A regional tournament semifinals tonight at 6 p.m. at Damonte Ranch High in Reno.
“We’ve had a history with Reed in the past,” said first-year STHS coach Clint Lockhart, who was an assistant on the Vikings’ 2004 team. “We always seem to meet in the playoffs and it always seems to go back and forth. I know they are a very well-coached team and they will be ready to play.”
South Tahoe (18-2-3) beat Reed 2-0 in the Galena preseason tournament back in August, but the Vikings can expect a different team today. The Raiders breezed through the High Desert League season, going 10-0-2 and haven’t scored less than two goals per game during that stretch.
“We’ve scored a lot of goals, too,” said Lockhart, whose team has tallied 72 goals this season. “We can definitely keep up – if that’s the pace we’re going to play. But we also have strong goalkeeper play and a solid defense.”
Since it won the regional title in 1996, South Tahoe has only advanced past the first round three times. The Vikings lost to eventual regional champion McQueen two years ago in the semifinals and were eliminated in the first round last year by the Lancers.
The key for South Tahoe to get back to the regional championship game will be contain a slew of Reed offensive stars, led by senior striker Sarah Droege. The returning all-league player has 10 goals and eight assists this season, and she scored a goal in the Raiders’ 2-0 victory over Douglas in the first round on Saturday.
“She created something out of nothing and put us ahead 1-0,” Reed coach Jason Saville said of Droege in the Sparks Tribune. “To me, that’s a natural goal striker’s goal. Some people have natural ability in front of the goal and Sarah has some natural ability.”
Galena, which beat Reno 1-0 in the first round, and McQueen, which upset No. 1 seed Carson 2-1, meet today in the other semifinal at 4 p.m.