Wave suffers narrow loss to Vikings
The Greenwave varsity boys soccer team let slip a near win on Saturday, losing 2-1 to the South Tahoe Vikings in the last minute of play. The Wave’s next match is today on the road at Sparks at 4 p. m., and their next home match is against Elko at noon Saturday.
The Wave is currently 0-10-1 overall and in D1-A, while the Vikings are 7-0-5 overall and in D1-A.
The game began slowLY for both the Wave and the Vikings because of the drizzle, the immediate remark of a low scoring game throughout the first half.
Though no points would be scored until the second half, the first half marked an unpredicted speed on the Wave’s behalf, particularly by forward Mario Ugalde who forced the Vikings into a slide tackle game early on because they couldn’t quite match his speed on breakaways.
Nonetheless, this strategy would work for the Vikings, who refocused their aggression to their defense throughout the first half.
Unworried about the majority of the time spent in their own territory, the Vikings were able to efficiently shut down the Wave, even clustering at the net and risking their goalkeeper’s visibility just to avoid giving an advantage until they could muster their own offense.
A scoreless second half shifted to the Wave’s favor early on, since they had maintained their rushing speed without letting up on first touches and Ugalde was able to score the first point of the match.
This brought the Wave to an early lead, 1-0, which would incite a new strategy from the Vikings.
Rather than clustering in their own backfield, the Vikings placed their faith in two strong defensemen while the rest rushed on offense in the hopes that they would keep the ball in the Wave’s territory this half.
This was risky for the next 10 minutes, since several of the Wave’s swift players, including Ugalde and Angel Cornejo, would breakaway.
The Wave offense would be stopped by the same slide tackles as the first half, however, brought down by Vikings fullback Jesus Vasquez and defender Jonathan Medina.
Vasquez and Medina were not only able to disrupt possession, but also bring down both Ugalde and Cornejo tumbling with them each time. Vasquez seemed to be more aggressive due to the number of times he was shoved in the first half without call for a penalty, resulting in a devotion to sabotaging the Wave offense through Cornejo.
The Vikings would be able to rely on this, and after a charge down the middle, Vikings striker Martin Jimenez scored their first point of the match, tying it up with the Wave, 1-1.
Jimenez was able to score thanks to the Vikings’ new strategy, one that would play itself out efficiently throughout the rest of the half, keeping the ball aggressively and overwhelmingly in the Wave’s territory with only two defenders to pick up the slack.
The rest of the second half was a nailbiter, since the Vikings had many attempts on goal and the Wave had few forwards and strikers that could even get past the slide tackling Viking defenders without tumbling, let alone maintaining possession.
In a dramatic upset for the Wave, in the very last minute of play, Vikings forward Michele Crotta was able to high kick the ball just above the Wave goalkeeper’s head and out of his reach, bringing the Vikings ahead 2-1 about 30 seconds before the match ended.