South Tahoe girls soccer downs Fallon 3-0 on Senior Night, celebrates outgoing players
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe girls soccer team celebrated its senior class with laughter, tears and a victory under the lights Tuesday, Oct. 25. The Vikings beat Fallon 3-0 at Viking Stadium on Senior Night, delivering an emotional 3A Northern League win in their last home match of the season.
“I’m going to miss them a lot — with all my heart,” Vikings coach Mark Salmon said. “This is a great group of kids and it’s tough to see them go.”
South Tahoe (13-5, 12-3 3A Northern) took the field for kickoff Tuesday night with nine outgoing players — seven seniors and two juniors graduating a year early. The Vikings kicked off with three injured players on the pitch — seniors Bailee Salmon and Amanda Muskopf along with junior Matia Coverdale — that were subbed out after the opening whistle.
“These kids are competitors, and the minute they got their first couple touches it was on and it was game time,” Salmon said.
The Vikings battled emotions all night while delivering a comfortable victory. South Tahoe bookended the first half with goals and quickly added a third after halftime against Fallon (3-9-5, 3-8-4), who was eliminated from postseason contention with the defeat.
“Fallon got numbers behind the ball and put a lot of pressure on the ball,” Salmon said. “They didn’t give us time in the attacking third to settle the ball and get a shot off — they played pretty well.”
Junior Annie Brejc opened the scoring in the ninth minute against the Greenwave, taking a through ball from senior Ana Garcia and finishing a right-footed shot across the goal. In the 30th minute, Brejc returned the favor by setting Garcia up for a tap-in off a low cross.
Five minutes into the second half, a similar sequence led to a point-blank shot from Garcia that made it 3-0. The attacking duo either scored or assisted on each of South Tahoe’s goals in the victory.
“We attacked with width, got the ball wide and had easy, clinical finishes,” Salmon said. “Nobody in the league keeps up with our two outside players.”
Garcia’s 45th-minute goal capped the scoring in a match South Tahoe dominated. The Vikings controlled possession, but had trouble finishing chances and at times breaking down a compact Fallon defense.
“We’re really trying to focus on composure and decision-making,” Salmon said. “It’s going to come down to those little things in the playoffs, and if they don’t do them well they could be picked off — anything can happen.”
South Tahoe celebrated its outgoing players throughout Tuesday’s match, including a halftime ceremony where the players and their coach each delivered pre-recorded messages over the loudspeakers. The group of nine also featured seniors Jennifer Valdivia, Emma Dayberry, Claudia Janese and Maria Martinez — most of which have been playing together for nearly a decade.
“We all talked about how special it would be to run all the way through high school and still stay together, and the majority of them have,” Salmon said. “When I say we’re a family, I mean it — we’re really close and it’s hard to see them all go.
“It gives us all the more reason to finish off this season correctly.”
The Vikings conclude the regular season Saturday, Oct. 29, at North Tahoe — kickoff is scheduled for noon. South Tahoe begins the 3A Northern League playoffs Thursday, Nov. 3, at Lowry High with a quarterfinal match against 2A Northern League third seed Pershing County (Lovelock, Nev.).