STHS girls suffer first blemish |

STHS girls suffer first blemish

Jeremy Evans

When it comes to soccer, ties are always viewed in the eye of the beholder. For Douglas, a tie against South Tahoe would be a happy moment. For South Tahoe, a tie against Douglas would be an unhappy moment.

Whatever the emotion, there certainly wasn’t an air of indifference following Tuesday’s 3-3 tie between the two Sierra League teams at South Tahoe Middle School. After starting the season 10-0, the Vikings now have their blemish.

“I was mostly disappointed that we came out a little overconfident,” said STHS coach Clint Lockhart. “Maybe this was a little wake-up call for our girls.”

The other side of the spectrum was provided by Lorraine Fitzhugh, Douglas’ second-year coach who’s trying to bring a relatively young team together.

“It was a pretty evenly matched game, but I would give the nod to Tahoe because they had the undefeated record,” said Fitzhugh, whose roster includes five sophomores, five juniors and seven seniors. “Of course we are happy with a tie. We are a pretty inexperienced team in some respects.”

As positive a result as it was for the Tigers, they were actually in position to win the match in the first half.

In a span of five minutes, Douglas’ Ally Freitas and Morgan LeFever scored goals to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage. But in the final three minutes of the first half, the Vikings found their scoring touch.

In the 37th minute, Karli Vath collected a ball out of the midfield and darted toward the goal. After holding off Douglas defender Kristina Dantin, Vath took one cut in the box and drilled a shot past goalie Jamie Greer. Two minutes later, Morgan Cook’s shot was saved by Greer but was then redirected into the net by Cassidy Burg.

“It was great to see that the girls made the effort and that’s what you want to see out of a team,” Lockhart said. “That’s what a championship-caliber team does. You see a lot teams fold under that kind of pressure.”

The second half was controlled by South Tahoe, which got its reward in the 60th minute. The Vikings were given a free kick outside the Douglas penalty box after Burg was taken down. Sweeper Janelle Perasso approached the spot of the foul and blasted a shot past Greer for what appeared to the game-winning goal.

For the next 15 minutes, the Tigers (3-3-3 overall, 1-1-2 league) struggled to penetrate the Vikings’ defense. But then in the 77th minute, LeFever chased a loose ball out of the midfield that trickled into the STHS penalty box. Despite a poor angle, she crushed a shot to the far post that bounced off the post and into the net.

Even though they led in the first half, the Tigers celebrated the equalizer like it was the game winner.

“We have been working on not making defensive mistakes,” Fitzhugh said. “Giving up two goals in the first half, that wasn’t the progress I would’ve liked to see, but it does happen and it’s how you respond to mistakes that really matters. We’ll move forward from this and keep working.”

South Tahoe (10-0-1, 3-0-1) travels to Carson on Saturday for a match between the league’s top two teams.

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