Vikings beat Warriors 6-0 in local girls soccer showdown
For the 2014 season, local bragging rights in girls soccer belong to South Tahoe. The Vikings beat Whittell 6-0 on Saturday at Viking Stadium, turning up the pressure to win the only meeting of the season between the crosstown rivals.
“We’re all friends, but it means a lot for us to come out here and be able to beat them and play against them when we can,” South Tahoe midfielder Ally King said. “Especially coming back from last year, we really wanted this one.”
From the outset, South Tahoe (10-2-1) controlled possession while playing high-pressure defense. Whittell (9-1) appeared rushed and had trouble connecting passes early on.
“We wanted to go right out and take it — we just went straight out with the right mindset, the right goals and did it,” King said. “We definitely played more of our style.”
The opening 20 minutes of the match were played mostly in Whittell’s half, with South Tahoe generating a number of chances and the Warriors absorbing constant pressure. Midway through the first half, starting forward Kenya Maltase moved to stopper in an effort to solidify Whittell’s defense.
“We were really flat — we didn’t bring our best game and their speed really got us in some bad spots,” Whittell coach Patrick Kelly said. “We played a lot of defense.”
With nearly a half-hour gone, South Tahoe made its pressure pay off. Vikings forward Jordyn Dion beat a pair of Whittell defenders outside the box and found midfielder Ashlee Schouten in the middle of the field — Schouten blasted a shot just under the crossbar and over Warriors goalkeeper Lauren George to make the score 1-0 in the 29th minute.
Just before halftime, South Tahoe added a goal on its 18th shot of the half. King dribbled outside the box looking for an opening, and she found the space to fire a right-footed shot that found the back of the net from 20 yards out put the Vikings ahead 2-0 in the 38th minute.
South Tahoe took that two-goal advantage into the break after controlling the first half. Whittell had only one shot in the opening 40 minutes and spent most of the first half defending on its side of the field.
“They wanted it, and playing in front of our home fans at our home field was the difference,” South Tahoe head coach Jeremy Evans said. “The girls came out from the opening whistle, and it was clear that if Whittell was going to beat us they were really going to have to beat us.”
In the second half, South Tahoe scored three goals in the first five minutes to put away the Warriors. King scored twice in a one-minute span to complete her hat trick — in the 42nd minute she finished a cross from Dion with a volley into the corner of the net, and her third goal came on a rebound after George had stopped a pair of Vikings’ shots.
“Right at the half, our goalie Alicia told me to go out and score another one for her — I scored two for her,” King said.
In the 45th minute, Schouten struck again to put South Tahoe ahead 5-0 — she put a left-footed shot from 20 yards out into the top corner. The Vikings continued to generate chances, and capped the scoring in the 78th minute with a goal from Alejandra Gutierrez — the defeat was Whittell’s first of the season.
“This was probably the best performance we’ve had from opening whistle to closing,” Evans said. “As far as where we want to go, this was a statement game and should give the girls confidence moving forward.”
South Tahoe peppered Whittell’s goal with shots throughout the match, and George delivered one of her best performances of the season despite the lopsided final score. The Warriors’ goalkeeper stopped nine of the Vikings’ 15 shots on target in 72 minutes of action.
With the six-goal victory, South Tahoe exacted a bit of revenge against Whittell in the crosstown rivalry. The two teams played twice during the 2013 season, with the Warriors winning the second meeting after a draw in the first match.
“I told the girls in practice they’ve probably given you a hard time the last 12 months — and you deserve every second of it,” Evans said. “These are statement games, rivalry games, and you have to live with the result for a year.”
Both South Tahoe (Div. I-A) and Whittell (Div. IV) have state championship aspirations, and are moving steadily toward that goal. The Vikings and Warriors each sit atop their respective leagues at the midway point of league play, and neither has lost a league match — the Vikings wrapped up the first round with a 7-0-1 mark after a 7-0 win at Lowry on Friday.
South Tahoe began the second round of league play Tuesday against Dayton, and plays at Fallon on Thursday. Whittell returns to action Thursday at White Pine on and plays at West Wendover on Friday.