Vikings, Tigers tie in season finale: STHS clinches No. 3 seed in playoffs
MINDEN — Douglas High’s Kyle Gardner stole a victory away from the South Tahoe boys’ soccer team on Monday night, scoring a goal in the 79th minute as the teams settled for a 1-1 tie in the regular season finale for both teams.
The tie actually did a lot to clear up the Northern 4A regional playoff picture as the Tigers (10-3-1, 31 points) will be the No. 2 seed from the Sierra League. The Vikings clinched the No. 3 seed, while Carson won the league title with its 4-1 win over North Valleys on Tuesday, finsihing 10-1-3 (33 points).
Both squads saw their fair share of solid defense and offensive misfortune before each capitalized on picture-perfect goals.
South Tahoe’s Kory DiGrande, who was recently moved up from the JV squad, got loose on a breakaway in the 71st minute after the ball trickled through the Tiger defense and he put it away for the 1-0 lead.
Douglas pulled a goalie swap five minutes later to move starter Jose Alcaraz forward in the attack and place Andrew Andraski in net. The move paid immediate dividends as Douglas pushed the ball deep in Viking territory and Dustin Goldade broke free in front of the net. The South Tahoe defense stepped up, however, and took away any possible shot.
Douglas kept the ball in the Viking end for the majority of the next four minutes before Robbie Forest bounced a cross in front to Gardner who blistered a shot into the upper near corner past Viking goalie Josh Doherty, who made three saves in the game.
South Tahoe (14-4-4 overall, 7-3-4 league) dominated possession early on and peppered the Tiger net with seven shots in the first half, compared to Douglas’ one.
The Viking defense of Mac Cerceo, Mike Caro, Jake Leonard, Tanner Braun and Andres Munoz kept the Tigers from mounting any kind of attack in the first half while the Vikings had a number of good opportunities early on. Cerceo looped a pass in to Osvaldo Lizaola in the 27th minute and Lizaola got a good shot on net that Alcaraz was able to block.
Alcaraz made another diving save to his left, one of four in the first half, on a sharp shot in the 29th minute. Omar Navarro got free on a long clear just before halftime for South Tahoe but his shot went wide.
Douglas assumed control of the tempo in the second half and accordingly dominated possession for the first 15 minutes of the second half.
Oscar Gonzalez made a nice cross to Dustin Goldade in the 48th minute, but Goldade just missed on the shot.
Robbie Forest cracked a shot to the near post in the 55th minute, but Doherty came up with a nice save on it.
The Vikings then started attacking more and nearly got on the board in the 57th minute when Jesus Garcia sent a through ball to Bryan “Chino” Garcia, but the shot went wide.
South Tahoe had another big chance in the 65th minute when Garcia played a corner kick nicely into the middle and Navarro headed the ball toward an open net, but the ball bounced off the cross bar.
The Vikings continued to pressure the ball and Brian Walker got loose on a breakaway and put a shot on net that Alcaraz scooped up. Alcaraz finished the game with eight saves while Doherty came up with three for South Tahoe.
In the JV game, Erik Cramer scored off an assist from Giovanni Perez as South Tahoe posted a 1-0 league victory over Douglas on Monday in Minden. The Vikings finish the season 12-1-4.