Unbeaten STHS soccer teams open postseason Saturday in Sparks
Veteran South Tahoe High soccer coach Joe Winters won’t have any problem getting his players motivated for their regional opener Saturday in Sparks.
Even though the undefeated Vikings open the eight-team Northern Nevada 4A League boys’ tournament against Fallon, a club it defeated 10-0 earlier in the season, they realize one sluggish offensive performance can KO the best of teams.
Last year, the Vikings entered the postseason as Sierra Division champions but lost to fourth-seeded Sparks on penalty kicks in the first round of regionals.
Behind a well-balanced, ball-controlling offense the Vikings went through the 2002 regular season without a defeat. They carry a 10-0-2 division and 18-0-2 records into Saturday’s noon match with Fallon at Reed High School.
In their only previous meeting with Fallon on Sept. 25, high-scoring junior Alex Torres collected four goals and three assists. Junior Leon Abravanel and sophomore Corey Vermillion also were busy, combining for three goals and three assists.
Winters thought the match served as a turning point for team unselfishness.
“We’re starting to play for each other, which is really key,” Winters said after that match. “That’s critical for a team that is talented as we are. We just need to get the ball to the right people at the right time because we’ll score goals.”
The South Tahoe-Fallon winner meets the North Valleys-Elko winner at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Reno High School.
South Tahoe’s girls’ team, which finished undefeated and runner-up in the Sierra Division, will play third-seeded McQueen in the first round of regionals Saturday at Reed High. The Viking girls’ game will precede the boys at 10 a.m.
The Vikings (9-0-3 in division) didn’t play McQueen (8-4) during the regular season. The Lancers were shut out by High Desert Division champion Reed 2-0 on Saturday.
South Tahoe will look to rebound from the disappointment of a regular-season-ending tie with Carson that prevented the Vikings from winning the Sierra Division.
Megan Hoppe’s goal with 90 seconds remaining pulled the Vikings into a 2-2 tie with Carson, keeping the Vikings’ unbeaten season intact. But once-beaten Douglas won the division crown by one point.
The South Tahoe-McQueen winner will play the Carson-Reed survivor at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Reno High.
Vikings’ leading scorer, Kelly Meyer, has missed the past two weeks with a fractured patella. There is an outside chance Meyer could return at some point during the postseason.
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Krysta Palmer couldn’t stop smiling Sunday during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 3-meter women’s diving competition. She had every reason to beam from ear to ear, making history and earning a bronze medal in the process.