Whittell boys soccer rallies to tie Battle Mountain 3-3 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell boys soccer rallies to tie Battle Mountain 3-3

Anthony Gentile
agentile@tahoedailytribune.com
Whittell midfielder Julio Loera dribbles between a crowd of Battle Mountain defenders in the Warriors’ 3-3 tie with the Longhorns on Friday, Sept. 18.
Courtesy / Boyd Dangtongdee |

ZEPHYR COVE — The Whittell boys soccer team appeared headed for a loss against Battle Mountain on Friday, Sept. 18. But in the closing minutes, midfielder Genaro Mena produced a late moment of magic to lift the Warriors to a 3-3 draw with the Longhorns.

On a free kick, Mena headed a cross from midfielder Julio Loera into the top right corner of the goal. Mena’s game-tying effort came after a back-and-forth match.

“It was a good feeling,” Mena said. “It was a great cross and everyone was excited.”

Whittell (2-4-1, 1-2-1 Div. III) had to mount a comeback to tie the match, but easily felt it could have beaten Battle Mountain. Missed scoring chances and defensive lapses ultimately led to the draw.

“We dominated the whole game, we just needed to finish better and work on our conditioning a little more,” Loera said.

The Warriors scored the first two goals of Friday’s match and had a 2-1 lead at halftime. Loera opened the scoring off a cross from Mena, then Marc Kluge found the back of the net to put Whittell ahead by two — Battle Mountain cut that lead in half just before the break.

“We played a good game, but our finishing was a little off,” Mena said. “If we finished our shots, we could have taken that game.”

The Longhorns took the lead with a pair of second-half goals, and Whittell trailed until the last minute of the match. The draw was the Warriors’ first of the season.

“I thought we were going to lose,” Loera said.

Whittell traveled to play three-time Div. III state champion Incline on Tuesday, Sept. 22. The Warriors return home Thursday, Sept. 24, when they host Hug (Reno, Nev.); the homecoming match starts at 4 p.m.