South Tahoe soccer boys tied by Spring Creek
Armando Rosales’ shoulders slumped after his contested close-range shot missed just wide left and hit the side of the goal.
Adrian Mendoza’s face showed pure anguish after his header sailed just right of the net.
Oscar Marzocco threw his arms in the air after his free kick flew just above the crossbar.
South Tahoe pressured Spring Creek the entire first half, and into the second, Saturday, but couldn’t turn any scoring chances into goals.
The Vikings’ fast and furious start eventually gave way to frustration and anger making a 0-0 tie with the Spartans feel like a loss on their home field.
“We played good. We just weren’t connecting on the passes and got frustrated that we couldn’t complete a goal,” said Rosales, a senior forward.
On a sun-baked afternoon with snow on the mountains peeking over the school rooftops down onto Vikings Stadium, South Tahoe was unified and determined from the opening kickoff.
The Vikings launched four shots on goal in the first six minutes. Three came from the right foot of Kevin Vazquez.
The last shot was grounded just wide left after Vazquez corralled a perfect header from Rosales.
The good chances diminished for a bit but returned in the final 10 minutes of the half with a Marzocco free kick from about 20 yards. He smashed it over the four-man Spring Creek wall and also a whisper above the goal.
“(Our frustration was) From finishing, just in the final third of the field we couldn’t put it in the goal,” Marzocco said.
The Vikings got three more solid chances in the second half, but couldn’t convert, which led to players taking their frustrations out on teammates and opponents.
They received a couple yellow cards.
“We started yelling at each other and couldn’t get anything done,” Rosales said. “Right now we’re going through a rough patch.”
Goalkeeper Sergio Rodriguez recorded a clean sheet and defenders Ethan Nelson, Ignacio Vazquez, Adrian Mendoza, Luis Valladdial helped keep shots and chances to a minimum.
The Vikings had lost two straight, including 3-0 by Elko Friday night at home.
“It was a rough game for us,” said head coach Leon Abravanel. “This week was rough. It’s good to have a clean sheet on the books rather than the last two games where we’ve given up four. There’s definitely some positives. We just couldn’t out the ball in the back of the net.”
The Vikings were missing two starters due to grades, which is something, from Day 1, that Abravanel has said is most important. Both the coaching staff and players are disappointed. But since it was a grade check, the athletes have a chance to improve their grades before they are lost for the season.
“Some starters are ineligible,” Rosales said. “But we need to train and stay positive and choose whether we stay in this hole or to go up.”
The Vikings (3-4-3, 2-2-2 3A Northern League) sit in fifth place in their 9-team league and will visit Churchill Wednesday, Sept. 27, in Fallon, Nevada.