3A boys soccer roundup
FALLON – After 80 minutes of playing soccer at the Northern 3A Regional Soccer Tournament in Fallon, both Incline and Battle Mountain figured the boys’ match would not be decided until a shootout after two 15-minute overtime periods.
Both teams had a quick surprise, however, when Battle Mountain scored an “own goal” that allowed the Highlanders to post a 2-1 win in the first minute of overtime and earn a spot at this week’s state 3A tournament.
Truckee defeated North Tahoe, 3-2, for the regional championship in the later game. Only the top three teams advance to the state tournament.
The Highlanders moved the ball quickly down to Battle Mountain’s goal, and a pass to one of the Longhorn players ricocheted off him and just past the goal post.
Incline coach Tom Canino said Incline had many good opportunities to win the match, but the Highlanders missed shots and a penalty kick.
Canino said he felt bad for the way the winning goal was scored, but he credits Michael Ceragioli with the goal since he took the cross pass. He also said Sean Higgins and Johnny Luna played effectively from their central defense positions.
Incline, which defeated Battle Mountain, 2-1, during the season, didn’t have an easier time with the Longhorns in their second meeting this year.
Incline and Battle Mountain finished the first half in a scoreless tie, but the Highlanders Juan Herrera had a breakaway goal that scooted to the left side of the net during the first minute of the second half for a 1-0 lead.
The Highlanders pressured the Longhorns, but Battle Mountain’s Edwin Ortiz used his playmaking skills to keep Incline away from the box.
With 6:11 left in regulation play, Battle Mountain’s Fernando Gonzalez broke loose for a breakaway shot that rose to the top of the net and above the Incline goalkeeper to tie the match.
Battle Mountain’s dream of reaching the state finals, though, ended quickly.
“Either way, we did a great job,” said Battle Mountain coach Mark Lake. “These players advanced further than any other (soccer) team from Battle Mountain. It’s unfortunate, but another minute might have been different.”