Warriors overcome adversity to blank Incline
Victory didn’t appear likely for the Whittell High girls soccer team before it took the field against Incline on Wednesday in Incline Village. With goalie Elise Thomas out with a broken collarbone and center midfielder Jenna Hayes’ ankle in a cast, the timing wasn’t right to play Nevada 2A rival Incline.
However, several players taped up their swollen ankles and gutted out a 2-0 win over the Highlanders.
“Sometimes when the chips are down and there’s adversity the girls rise to the occasion, and they sure did today,” said WHS coach Mike Leeper. “It was exciting to see them come together as a team, and it’s only going to lead to better things in the future.
“We won most of the 50-50 balls and we were putting constant pressure on them. We just wanted it more and it showed up in final score.”
Mandy Ralls scored unassisted in the 34th minute of the first half to stake the Warriors to a 1-0 halftime lead. Caitlin Fagan ended the suspense by scoring on a penalty kick in the 70th minute.
Leeper respected the defensive play of Alisha Roth and Lindsay Schultz, who eased Jackie Laurian’s debut between the pipes.
Whittell swept through the first half of its league schedule, compiling a 4-0 record. The Warriors will take a 7-5 overall mark into nonleague games with Fernley on Friday and North Tahoe on Saturday.
“Now everybody is going to be gunning for us in the second half, so we’ll have to raise our play even higher,” Leeper said.
Despite playing the final 35 minutes of the match a man short, the Whittell High Warriors boys soccer team escaped Incline Village with a 1-1 tie with Incline.
Shortly after the red card, Bryan Sigel scored to put Whittell ahead 1-0. However, the Highlanders scored with 5 minutes left on a penalty kick. Goalie Joe Piccola stopped a PK in the first half.
“Obviously we thought we should have won the game, but coming out with a tie is a good feeling,” said WHS coach Steve Maltase. “We played pretty hard, and overcame some crazy things. I’m not disappointed with our play, I’m just a little disappointed with the officiating.”
High-scoring Nestor Flores was again held scoreless. Flores, who has 24 goals in 13 games, has only scored once in the past three games.
“A lot of people are aware of him now,” Maltase said. “It’s pretty tough to get him the ball when he’s being double and triple teamed.”
Whittell, 2-1-1 in Nevada 2A play and 8-4-1 overall, travels to Fernley on Friday and serves as a host for North Tahoe on Saturday.
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INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Incline Village has played in two consecutive state championship basketball games, winning once, but entering this season the Highlanders have just one player with any varsity experience.