Vikings to defend first place
The fate of 4A Sierra League girls soccer all comes down to today.
South Tahoe, Douglas, Reno and Carson, the top four teams in league, respectively, all play today. The result will determine final league standings and the seeding for the 4A Northern Region Championship, which begins Saturday.
Only Carson (6-5-0) will remain in fourth place regardless of the outcome.
But that doesn’t mean the Senators can’t spoil the Vikings’ hope for a No. 1 seed in zone and their first undefeated season in a long time.
It’s all at stake for the Vikings (9-0-2), who are hoping to cap a successful season at the top of the league with their last game at Carson today at 3 p.m.
“We’ve already discussed that we have to win if we want to be in first place in league, so that’s what we’re going to do,” said Sierra Shipley, who often splits time at keeper with Erika Gonzalez.
The Vikings are one point ahead of Douglas in the standings. A loss or a tie could drop them to runner-up.
Douglas (9-1-1) plays at Reno (8-2-1) today to defend its position as runner-up, and potentially move into first (if they win and South Tahoe loses). The Tigers defeated the Huskies once already this year.
If Douglas loses, and finishes regular-season play with the same record as Reno, the second-place seed will go the team on a technicality determined by NIAA rules. The Vikings beat both Douglas and Reno once, and tied both teams once this year.
The Vikings defeated the Senators 5-0 in their first match. Kelly Meyer, who won’t play today due to a patella fracture, scored two goals in that game.
“It’s been a loss, but we’ve had to readjust,” said Julia Russell, the Vikings’ head coach about the loss of their top scorer.
The Vikings have been able to win without her, but the team went through an adjustment period where it tied Elko, then the fourth-place team from the High Sierra Division.
Nolie Pierini and Jen Napier have stepped up as forwards to lead the Vikings late in the season. Napier scored two goals in the Vikings last game against North Valleys. Lauren Bachelder and Tracy Ketelsen also scored.
“She was obviously our best scorer, but we have other really good forwards, and we’re trying to use them more and get by without her,” Shipley said. “She was a great player, but she’s only one player. The other forwards are great and they can do it.”
Through Oct. 28
South TahoeEE…E 9-0-2, 29
DouglasEE.EE…… 9-1-1, 28
North ValleysEE….. 3-8-0, 9
HugEEEEE.E……. 1-9-1, 4
WoosterEEEEE…. 0-11-1, 1
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