Whittell squashes division threats
With back-to-back victories over the weekend, the Whittell High Warriors all but clinched a berth in the boys’ 2002 NIAA/U.S. Bank 3A Northern League Soccer Tournament.
And they did it by beating a team that swept them in 2001.
In a crucial game Friday, the Warriors defeated the Bishop Manogue Miners 2-0 in Reno. In doing so, they took a two-point lead over the Miners in a race for the fourth-and-final 3A Northern League playoff spot.
With a 6-0 shutout romp over Right of Passage the following morning, the Warriors (9-7-0) extended their lead in league another three points to go up 27-22 over the Miners.
The Miners, who are 7-6-1 with 22 league points after a 4-1 loss on Saturday to North Tahoe, have two games left in the regular season. If they win both, they could oust the Warriors from zone.
But that isn’t likely. The Miners play Truckee (11-2-0) on Wednesday and on Nov. 2 play Incline (12-1-1). Currently, Incline is runner-up in league and Truckee is third.
Regardless of the outcomes, the Warriors could clinch a playoff berth if they win Tuesday against Truckee in their final regular season and home game.
It’s an important game for the Warriors, especially for the seniors, who face their last chance at a regional championship.
“Everyone is really, really excited for the game,” said senior Tyson Frederick, who had an assist in the Manogue game. “Though Incline is our biggest rival, everyone wants to beat Truckee.”
The Wolverines defeated the Warriors 1-0 in their last game.
And according to the Warriors, that one goal was a fluke.
The Warriors made their third and fourth shutouts of the year with Devin Farnsworth at keeper versus Manogue and Edgar Martinez versus ROP.
Farnsworth also scored against ROP.
Nestor Flores also continued his offensive charge and scored in the eighth minute of the Manogue game on a header from a Frederick throw in.
Kyle Bellotti scored the final goal in the 37th minute on a cross from Flores.
Jackie Laurian led the girls soccer team at Whittell on Friday with four goals in a 6-1 victory over Manogue in Reno.
The win cemented Whittell’s place in the NIAA/U.S. Bank 3A Northern League Soccer Tournament for the sixth year in a row.
Laurian, who missed the Warriors’ first game against Manogue because of the SAT, made a big impact with four goals.
“The addition of having Jackie Laurian in the lineup makes a big difference,” said Warrior head coach Mike Leeper. “Junior Jenna Hayes also had an outstanding game and scored two goals.”
Currently, Whittell (8-4-3) is in third place in Lake Division with 24 points, which is likely where they will finish the season.
The Warriors play undefeated Truckee (10-0-0) in their last home game on Tuesday at 2 p.m. The Warriors lost to the Wolverines 3-0 earlier this year.
While the game won’t improve the Warrior’s seed in zone, the game will give the Warriors an idea of what they can accomplish against their North Shore rivals.
“We have such talent on our team, we just need to unify and then we can compete up there with anyone,” Laurian said.
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