Vikings can exhale
A breather in an arduous week of action in the Sierra Division was just what the South Tahoe High boys’ soccer team needed on Monday.
With difficult matches against Reno and Wooster looming later in the week, the Vikings were able to rest some starters in an 8-2 blowout of Damonte Ranch at the Community Youth Sports Complex. An inferior opponent also enabled the Vikings to execute an offensive game plan that coach Chris DeLeon would prefer against the tougher teams.
“I’m really pleased with the way we distributed the ball – our one-touch passing,” DeLeon said. “I preach for us to play this way against Carson and Douglas, but sometimes they have something to prove against other players.”
After building a 5-0 halftime lead, DeLeon had the luxury of emptying his bench and looking at some first-time varsity players. They didn’t disappoint either as freshman Kory DiGrande scored a mere 16 seconds into his varsity career, blasting in his first shot from the top of the penalty box.
Later in the half, team manager Juan Chavez, who made the team in preseason but has handled the statistical chores for most of the season, delivered a goal in his first varsity game. His header in the 60th minute gave the Vikings a 7-0 lead.
Defender Andres Munoz capped the Vikings’ scoring in the 78 minute, beating the keeper from the far side.
“It’s a rare thing for a defender to do, to come up and score a goal like he did,” DeLeon said.
The Mustangs had no answer for the Vikings’ ball-control attack in the opening 40 minutes as Gavin Chandler scored twice, while Bryan “Chino” Garcia, Omar Navarro and Osvaldo Lizaola provided a goal apiece. Chandler had the most spectacular goal, heading in a well-executed delivery from Garcia.
Damonte Ranch avoided the shutout with late goals from Brooks Cascanai (penalty kick) and Sean Amezca (header).
South Tahoe (14-3-2 overall, 7-2-2 league) travels to Reno on Wednesday and plays host to Wooster on Saturday.