Fallon splits with Elko, Spartans
ELKO — The Fallon boys soccer team earned a split last weekend against Spring Creek on Friday and Elko on Saturday.
After thumping Fernley on Friday, the Indians took the field at Adobe Middle School on Saturday morning and held off a much tougher opponent in Fallon for a 1-0 win. With the victories, the Tribe is 2-0 in Northern I-A league play, while Fallon is 1-1.
“When we got winded, our passing and possession game benefited us,” Elko coach Randy Shelley said. “When they had fresh legs, they were just running all over the field, but then in the second half, we made some better passes.”
The first half of the game was a strong defensive effort with both teams not getting many looks at the goal.
Midway through the first half, the teams traded a couple of shot opportunities. Elko’s best look came around the 20-minute mark when Brenden Shelley was able to get off a shot after shaking two defenders, but the shot was stopped by the Fallon keeper.
In the second half, the Indians got on the scoreboard. Roger Kusi-Amponsah crossed the ball to Victor Hernandez. Hernandez put the ball in the back of the net for the only goal of the game.
“The last quarter of the game, we started to really pressure them,” coach Shelley said. “This kind of made up for the last two years when we’ve lost to Fallon at home.”
In the second half, Brenden Shelley had a penalty kick opportunity, but it was stopped by Greenwave keeper Brandon Holler.
“As we started passing better, we had more confidence,” Shelley said. “Our defense really stepped it up. This was a huge game for us. We needed to win this game. Going to Boise last weekend, we really learned a lot, and today we used what we learned.”
Fallon runs past Spartans
SPRING CREEK — The Spring Creek boys soccer team has seen a lot of Fallon lately, facing the Greenwave three times in its last six matches dating back to last season.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, it was more of the same Friday, as Fallon took a 3-2 decision for its third straight win over Spring Creek during that stretch. The Spartans held a 2-1 lead in the second half but let the Greenwave charge back to take the victory.
“It left a sour taste in our mouths,” Spring Creek coach Leaf Knotts said. “I felt we let this game get away.”
The teams traded chances early, but it was Fallon who struck first just ticks after the opening whistle. The Greenwave capitalized on a goalkeeper error as Tristan Parrott scored to put Fallon up 1-0.
Fullback Star ‘Ita evened the score for Spring Creek a few minutes later when he converted a corner kick from close range for his first goal of the season.
There was an ebb and flow in possession advantages during the rest of the first half, as Spring Creek came close on two free kicks and Fallon rung the crossbar with a long attempt. Despite the near misses, the teams entered halftime knotted at one.
Spring Creek grabbed a 2-1 lead about seven minutes into the second half, when attacker Spencer Pemelton found the net.
The lead held up for another 10 minutes, when Fallon found an equalizer. Fidel Enriquez weaved through a host of Spartans, centered a cross to Corbin Waite, who volleyed home the goal.
Waite returned the favor and assisted Enriquez with a goal to give the Wave a 3-2 lead.
The loss marks the second time in the young season the Spartans have let a lead slip to Fallon, previously occurring in a 2-1 defeat at the Spring Creek tournament. Knotts said it was tough to address his team after another close loss.
“We had more opportunities and we outshot them,” Knotts said. “These losses are tough to take.”
Information provided by Martin Harris and Blake Samanas of the Elko Daily Free Press.