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Vikings need a bit more time

Michael Traum

Mixing a winning tradition with youth and a bit of overconfidence can be volatile.

The South Tahoe High boys soccer team found that out Thursday, as the Vikings lost to division foe Douglas, 1-0, at the South Tahoe Middle School.

It’s the first time in coach Joe Winters’ five-year stint that the Vikes have lost two in a row.

“We’re trying hard, but this is not a team yet. The biggest problem is that some of the guys don’t understand their roles. Sometimes the young guys try to do more than they’re capable of doing,” said Winters, who fields four or five sophomores at any one time. “I’m not going to say we deserved to win because we’re not playing well. We’re playing very frantic. I think the level of play for the younger players is a bit more than they’re used to.”

While no team played particularly well – Douglas’ goal came in the first half on a shot from nearly 50 yards out that bounced untouched twice before bounding over the Tahoe keeper – the Vikings’ (3-2) noticeable lack of teamwork kept them from mounting a sustained threat.

“If was like two passes, turnover, two passes, turnover. We’ve been working desperately on passing combinations,” Winters said. “I don’t want to get too down. We’re not the team we were last year, but we’re one injury away from a real long season.”

In the Vikes’ defense, usual starters Manuel Corea and Jeff Orr did not play, which left Tahoe scrambling for new schemes.

The Vikings had many chances, especially in the second half. But while Douglas won nearly every 50-50 chance and controlled the game with crisp passing, the Vikings often lagged after getting beat and hardly ever put together a passing combination.

“I knew this was coming. Some of the guys have been practicing poorly and haven’t been putting out. Now we’re suffering from it. We’ve got to start to buckle down,” Winters said. “We’re young and they’re having to play major roles on the team. Probably the worst thing that could’ve happened to us was to win the first three games, score wise. I’m not going to take anything away from Douglas or McQueen, but neither of those teams are very strong right now either.”


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