Warriors make first league victories exciting
Scoring seven of 10 goals with three assists during the weekend, Nestor Flores led the Warrior boys soccer team in its first two 3A Lake Division games and what will likely be two of its most unusual victories of the year.
The Warriors defeated the Spring Creek Longhorns 4-1 at home Friday in a game that ended before time had expired.
The Longhorns quit when, trailing 4-1, a Whittell Warrior and Longhorn tangled during a header.
The Warrior landed on top, and as Whittell head coach Steve Maltase explains, the Longhorn landed in such a way that his head was driven into the grass. The player was taken off the field by emergency medical crews but was moving all of his limbs voluntarily, Maltase said.
“(The Battle Mountain coach) pulled his team off the field and didn’t shake our hands or anything. He pulled them and that was it,” Maltase said.
Maltase added that the game was “real physical,” but that there were no fights.
Three Warriors received yellow cards, as did two Longhorns.
“It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. It was just a real physical game with an real unfortunate end,” he said.
The Warriors took a 4-0 lead with goals by Tim Prebazac on an assist by Flores in the sixth minute; a free kick goal by Flores in the ninth minute; a Flores’ goal assisted by Mike Prebazac in the 31st minute; and a hat trick goal by Flores on a free kick deflected by a Longhorn.
The Warriors’ second game against the Spring Creek Spartans on Saturday was far less physical, but a thriller until the last goal put the Warriors up for a 6-4 final.
The Warriors went ahead 2-0 in the first five minutes with goals by Flores and Tim Prebazac (assisted by Flores).
Spring Creek tied the game at 2 by the half, then took the lead at the 45th minute. Flores tied it at 3-3 with a penalty kick goal, only to have the Spartans take the lead again in the 51st minute.
Jerel Dutton scored in the 65th minute. Then Flores gave the Warriors the lead in the 74th minute, followed by their third consecutive goal three minutes later on a penalty kick by Flores.
The Warriors are now 2-0-0 in conference and 4-6-1 overall.
Warriors crush Longhorns, lose to Spartans
Jackie Laurian had five goals in the Warriors’ 7-0 beating of Battle Mountain and scored the team’s only goal in its 3-1 loss to Spring Creek, last year’s 3A state finalist.
The split last weekend put the team’s record at 1-0-1 in the 3A Lake Division and 3-0-1 overall.
Recording goals against Battle Mountain in addition to Laurian were Junior Jenna Hayes and sophomore Kaitlin Green.
Head coach Mike Leeper said Battle Mountain didn’t offer much resistance Friday, giving the team an easy shutout.
That wouldn’t be the case the following morning when George Whittell High School’s girls’ soccer team would face last year’s state finalist.
The Warriors gave up a goal in the first 10 minutes against the Spring Creek Spartans Saturday after coming out flat for much of the first half.
The team battled in the second half and held the Spartans scoreless, but couldn’t put points on the board.
Laurian hit the cross bar on one noteworthy shot.
“In the second half we had a lot of chances but the we couldn’t covert,” Leeper said. “The girls played with a lot of heart.”
Officials then called a penalty kick against the Warriors.
Leeper was furious, complained, and was given a yellow card.
“They called a phantom PK with about 10 minutes remaining,” he said. “It was a horrible call.”
Goalkeeper Elise Thomas couldn’t stop the shot, giving the Spartans a 2-0 lead.
Laurian came back and scored the team’s only goal to prevent the shutout, but Spring Creek’s third goal shortly after sealed the defeat.
“We’re really missing the leadership of Heather O’Brien who tore her ACL,” said Leeper. “The girls have to realize other players are going to have to step up.”
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