Tough way for Vikings to go ou
By Jeremy Evans
Tribune staff writer
CARSON CITY – South Tahoe High’s postseason run ended Thursday against McQueen much like it was extended against Reed last weekend.
In the first round on Saturday, a shot in overtime appeared to roll over the Vikings’ goal line, but a fortunate no-call kept the game tied 0-0. A few minutes later, freshman Tess Braun scored to give South Tahoe a 1-0 win over the Raiders and a berth in the Northern 4A semifinals.
This time around, a hazy, confusing play resulted in a call that went against the Vikings. And just as an incorrect no-call ended Reed’s season, a correctly made call proved equally damaging for South Tahoe.
In the 72nd minute, a long ball out of the back was rolling toward goalie Ellie Vermillion when she slipped at the edge of the box. As the ball squirted through her legs, she reached back to grab it, only to find the ball was a few inches outside the penalty box, an unfortunate discovery that led to a Lancer free kick.
McQueen’s Alyx Sacks then drilled a shot from 19 yards out that was initially saved but not held by Vermillion and then Molly Matles followed and redirected it into the net as McQueen beat South Tahoe 1-0 at Carson High.
“It gave us the Reed game and it cost us this game,” said STHS coach Randy Volkmar. “Soccer is just one of those sports, where one mistake can make the difference. I don’t want to say it was a mistake because it wasn’t. She just slipped and then she made a great save on the free kick.”
Eight minutes later, the referee blew the final whistle and South Tahoe’s players dropped to the ground, hands covering faces, heads buried in the grass. Lancer coach Roy Callahan knows his team could’ve experienced the same fate.
“You get to this level of play and one goal is all it takes,” Callahan said. “It just so happened to be our night. I was hoping it wouldn’t it go into a 15-minute-overtime thing and then penalty kicks. That’s no indication on how each team played.”
McQueen advances to play Galena in the zone championship on Saturday. The Grizzlies upset Douglas on penalty kicks in the first semifinal Thursday at Carson. The Lancers will be seeking their second straight zone title. Callahan lost all 11 starters from last year’s regional championship game.
“I think we’ve gained some respect this year,” Callahan said. “I don’t think anybody expected this group to go as far as it has, except me.”
Volkmar had similar expectations for his team. The Vikings outshot the Lancers 9-7, but, other than the incident that led to McQueen’s game-winning goal, neither goalie was seriously tested. Volkmar believed up until the final whistle his team would punch through a stiff Lancer defense. But it never happened and South Tahoe’s dream postseason run ended.
“It was magical. I’ve never seen team unity like this,” Volkmar said. “We’ve never seen them play a better game the entire year. It was hard fought and absolutely their best game. These guys worked hard all year and put in the extra work. But when it comes down to zone, things like this can happen.”