MINDEN - Even with a dominant second half, the Douglas High boys soccer team couldn't get past North Valleys.
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Tigers came out in the second, looking for the equalizer. Douglas finally got it in the 44th minute after Sean Rahe's goal.
But in the 77th minute, the Panthers' Eduardo Ojeda's shot beat sophomore goalie Chase Zumpft to the far post as the Panthers recorded their first-ever varsity boys soccer win, 2-1 on Saturday at Douglas High.
North Valleys, one of two first-year Washoe County schools, has only a few juniors on its roster, but no seniors. With the win, the Panthers handed the Tigers their first loss of the season, a day after Douglas (1-1) beat Elko 2-1 in its season opener.
But Tiger coach Phil Sheridan didn't think overcoming a tough and physical Indian team on Friday had anything to do with Saturday's lackluster effort against North Valleys. The Panthers also played on Friday, losing 4-1 to McQueen.
"We don't have any excuses," Sheridan said. "Elko was real physical but North Valleys had to play yesterday and they got it handed to them by McQueen. They outplayed us, they out hearted us, and they deserved to win."
Saturday's loss to North Valleys (1-1) also marked the Sierra League opener for both teams. The top four teams from each league advance to the Northern 4A playoffs. Reno, South Tahoe, and Carson are the early favorites in the Sierra League. If the Tigers hope to earn one of those four spots, Sheridan said many things must happen.
"We just need to get better, front to back," said Sheridan, who will be without top goal scorer Chris Bargman because of a hamstring injury probably until October. "We need to improve in a lot of areas and we don't have anybody that can score, we don't have any true forwards."
Still, Douglas nearly pulled off the win.
In the 13th minute, Edwin Miranda's goal put the Panthers up 1-0. The Tigers best scoring chance of the first half was midfielder Josh Pratt's shot, which struck the far post but bounced out of the North Valleys penalty box. A little later, Bradley Bryant's header barely missed over the top of the crossbar.
In the second half, Douglas outshot North Valleys, 15-6. But the Panthers had the better scoring chances. But two nice saves by Douglas sophomore keeper Chase Zumpft kept North Valley from scoring earlier than it did. But Ojeda's beautiful shot to the far post shot at the end of the game justified the better team winning, according to Sheridan said.
"They're just a much better team than us right now," Sheridan said.
On Wednesday, Douglas travels Reno for its second Sierra League game against Hug at 3:30 p.m.