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Warriors take over first place in boys soccer

Dan Thomas

It didn’t come easy, but Whittell High’s boys could celebrate homecoming weekend as the top soccer team in Northern Nevada 3A Division II.

The Warriors scored two second-half goals and hung on for a 3-2 homecoming win over visiting Bishop Manogue on Friday, giving the Warriors first place in the division. Whittell still has two division matches remaining, but put itself in the driver’s seat with the win.

“It feels great,” said Warriors junior Patrick Heeran, who bombed in the game-winner from beyond the 18-yard marker. “I couldn’t ask for anything better. We worked so hard.”



Manogue had forged a 2-2 tie in the match’s 45th minute on a goal from senior Brendan Kinney. But Heeran, who had allowed an opportunity to slip away in the first half, provided the heroics. He corralled a loose ball beyond the top of the goal area and shot it over an inadvertent Miners screen. The goalie couldn’t catch up with the shot, and Whittell had the go-ahead goal.

Manogue pressured Whittell keeper Joe Piccola mercilessly in the first half with runs from Kinney and Mike Elcano, and the pressure paid off in a 1-0 lead 15 minutes into the game. But an equal amount of pressure from Warriors Todd Echan and Kyle Spingola paid off when Spingola headed in a loose, chest-high ball, giving Whittell its first goal, and a 1-1 score. Elcano nearly made it 2-1 late in the half, but Piccola stonewalled a sure goal on Elcano’s breakaway, and the score remained 1-1 at half.



Echan made the score 2-1 right out of halftime with a penalty kick. After a foul set up Echan’s chance in the box, he went low and right, while Manogue’s keeper guessed left. While Heeran and Echan provided the second-half offense, midfielder Scott Corwin drew the unenviable task of marking Elcano. The strategy paid off, as the speedy Corwin held Manogue’s star senior to one second-half shot, and no goals.

“We were just trying to shut him down and make sure he got no shots,” Corwin said. “All the players helped, all the talking on the field.”

With the win, Whittell moved ahead of Manogue into sole possession of first place. The Warriors improved to 12-6-1 overall, 6-2 in league play, with matches at Lovelock and Yerington remaining on the schedule.

“I’m just excited,” said Whittell head coach Steve Maltase. “I think it was an excellent game, good teams playing with each other. I’m glad we’ve started to play better as the year goes on.”

Serpents pull away for volleyball win

The jerseys on Hawthorne’s volleyball Serpents on Saturday oozed intimidation (“Scared? You should be”), and they didn’t speak with forked tongues.

“We were very intimidated by (Hawthorne middle) Ashlee (Orndorff), because she’s huge,” said Whittell offhand hitter Shannon McGlothlin.

McGlothlin and the home-court Warriors put up a valiant effort against Orndorff and a much bigger Hawthorne squad, but the Serpents managed to slide out of Zephyr Cove with the 15-12, 9-15, 15-10, 15-6 win. It wasn’t height, though, that doomed Whittell in the end, after the Serpents surged to a 10-2 lead in the final game.

“I thought we gave up hope,” McGlothlin said.

Whittell drew its hardest opponent at the end of what had to be the team’s toughest week, with included three brutal matches, as well as issues off the court after an accident killed a Whittell student earlier in the week.

“They put together a very valiant effort despite the fact these girls were completely drained,” said Whittell head coach Dan McLaughlin.

Whittell’s front line was impressive in battling a much bigger unit on the other side of the net, with monster games from McGlothlin (10 kills, 14 service points, an ace and a block), Ashley Berns (10 kills, two service points, one block) and Erin Zaskoda (11 kills, six service points and two blocks), who combined with Jaime Borge and Danielle Cronis up front. Carlye Johnson and Jessika Purdy combined for 15 service points, and Johnson finished with 38 assists despite the inability of Whittell’s passing game to run at its smoothest.

“I thought they’d give us a run for our money,” said Hawthorne head coach Joyce Brown, whose team is 10-1 in league, 13-1 overall, and has the inside track to the league title. “We had a tough match against them the first time. They’re always tough, and Erin Zaskoda is always tough.”

Orndorff finished with 18 kills, altered 14 shots and had four blocks for Hawthorne, while Jessica Meier tallied 16 assists.

Whittell must travel to Hawthorne for zone, and will have to meet the Serpents one more time before the state tournament.

“We will be seeing them again,” McLaughlin promised.

And when that happens, the Warriors know who’s lying in the grass waiting.

“Hopefully, we’ll improve by the next time we play them, if we keep playing our game and not losing our intensity,” McGlothlin said.

Manogue undermines playoff hopes for Whittell girls

Whittell’s girls struck first, just 30 seconds into Friday’s soccer rematch with Bishop Manogue, but the visiting Miners had the last laugh with a 3-1 win in Zephyr Cove.

Manogue overcame its early deficit in the game, a must-win for both Northern Nevada 3A playoff hopefuls, and put itself in good position for the playoffs. The Miners, who lost to Whittell in the first meeting between the teams, needed to win by two goals, and did just that with two second-half scores.

“We could have done anything except what we did,” said Whittell head coach Mike Leeper, clearly disappointed with the result of Friday’s game. “No enthusiasm, no effort. They deserved to win. We’ve got to get up for big games.”

Whittell played inspired soccer early, as Corky Novotny put the Warriors up 1-0 in the match’s first minute. The Warriors had chances to go up further in the first half, and Novotny nearly added another goal on two separate occasions, just missing two more opportunities five minutes before halftime. But in injury time in the first half, Manogue drew even, as Kristen Giacomeni – who Whittell marker Heather O’Brien shut down in the first meeting – scored an unassisted goal.

“First, I want to compliment the Warriors,” said Manogue head coach Rob Hans, whose team all but locked up second place in the league behind Incline with the win. “Both times we played, they were a very disciplined, very well-coached and talented team. The difference was, mentally, my girls never gave up.”

Manogue opened up the game in the second half and avenged a home loss to the Warriors on Oct. 6. The Miners put the clamps on Whittell’s offense, limiting the Warriors to just six shots, only two on goal. Meanwhile, Kristen Sabini powered the offense. Ashley Sabini scored her first goal in the 73rd minute. Warriors goalie Renee Cascino left the net, and Sabini powered the ball into the bottom right corner, giving Manogue a 2-1 lead. Sabini put the finishing touch on the win – and improved her team’s goal differential and playoff position – converting a penalty kick inside the box in the 78th.

Whittell has two more matches on the schedule – at home against Yerington at 2 p.m. Wednesday and at Lovelock at 2 p.m. Friday – to make a final bid for the playoffs. The top two teams from the division advance to the postseason.


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