A critical early-season league match filled with plenty of chances eventually afforded an opportunity for Fidel Enriquez to shine.
The Fallon senior scored a header in the 65th minute off an awkward shot and deflection to rally the Greenwave past South Tahoe, 2-1, on Saturday at the Edward Arciniega Complex.
Fallon improves to 2-1 in the Northern Division I-A, while the Vikings fall to 3-3.
“It’s big,” Fallon coach Nate Waite said of win. “Except for that one, 5-second moment, it was nice to see everybody put together what we practiced.
Enriquez, who led Fallon in goals scored last year, made his run down the middle watching as Austin Bischoff sent the ball into the goalbox. The shot bounced off the cross bar, found the head of Enriquez who had an open net.
“I thought we came out flat and really didn’t improve until well into the second half,” South Tahoe coach Ben Hannah said. “Our defense played extremely well, but our midfield just didn’t want it today.”
The Greenwave’s offense was able to create chances even after losing forward Tristan Parrott in a scary incident in the first half.
Parrott made a run into the box and jumped for a header. He collided with South Tahoe’s goalkeeper, Kade Wallace, in a head-to-shoulder collision and slammed into the ground rotating 90 degrees.
Parrott was knocked unconscious and transported to Banner Churchill County Hospital, treated for a head injury and released. Trevor Davis came off the bench to replace Parrott.
“We kept the same philosophy and strategy,” Waite said after losing Parrott. “Our reserves prepare for an unfortunate moment like that.”
South Tahoe, meanwhile, struck first as the Vikings opened the game with a beautiful goal in the second minute. Daniel Lizaola threaded a pass to Antonio Marquez, who blew past Fallon’s Miguel Saenzpardo after he misplayed the ball. Marquez drilled the shot past goalkeeper Miguel Ruiz for a 1-0 lead.
The Vikings nearly added another goal about 20 minutes later when the ball slipped through Ruiz’s hands and found the foot of South Tahoe’s Danny Teran. Teran’s shot, though, went wide.
“It’s super frustrating,” Hannah said. “They didn’t play as well as they probably could have. We have to put some time on the practice pitch.”
Fallon tied the game in the 26th minute on a penalty kick after Enriquez was fouled in the box. Mario Ugalde buried the shot into the left corner.
South Tahoe, however, once again nearly added another goal on another miscue by Ruiz. The Fallon keeper misread the bounce and watched as the ball sailed over his head about 15 yards out, but Fallon’s defense was able to clear the ball without the Vikings getting a shot on net.
“Their work rate was incredible,” Nate Waite added. “We are more unified in the back four now.”