Dayton boys soccer pushes N. Tahoe
RENO – Juan Ortega scored from 10 yards out with less than five minutes left to give North Tahoe a thrilling 2-1 opening-round win over Dayton in the 3A regional soccer playoffs Thursday afternoon at the University of Nevada.
The game was played at the Saia Sports Complex after the fields at North Valleys were considered unplayable because of the recent snow and rain. Dayton’s team actually drove to Reno, turned around and got all the way back to Dayton and then returned to Reno when the NIAA officials were able to get the field at UNR.
The goal snapped a 1-all tie that had when existed Eddie Lanusa, who scored 32 goals this season, scored the tying goal in the 56th minute. The game appeared headed to overtime until Ortega gathered the loose ball off the corner kick and beat Dayton goalie Luis Gomez.
“The kids played with a lot of heart,” Dayton coach Juan Gomez said. “I don’t think anybody’s come this close to them. The way the kids were playing, I thought we were going into overtime.
“We had a couple of shots in the first half that hit the crossbar. We had our chances. They’re an awesome team, and we played with them.”
Gomez lauded the play of his defense, namely Jose Garcia, Juan Alcantra, Victor Meleareajo and Moses Ramon. Gomez had eight saves in goal against the top-ranked Lakers.
North Tahoe 5, Dayton girls 0
Despite losing in the first round for the second straight years to the Lakers, coach Tim Logan was pleased with his young squad.
The Lakers pounded Dayton 10-0 a year ago, but the Dust Devils were a little tougher defensively this time around.
“I thought we looked better,” Logan said. “The second half was a lot better. This year it looked like we worked a little more.
“Defensively we were giving them some easy shots early in the game, so our offense wasn’t able to do much. We got the ball down on their side of the field a little more in the second half.”
Both of Dayton’s shots on goal weren’t strong efforts, however.
Tara Buffington opened the scoring in the fifth minute, easily beating Sarah Langley, who was peppered from close range throughout the match.
The Lakers had six good looks in the next 15 minutes, but came up empty each time. Casey Fyfe made it 2-0 with a goal in the 27th minute. Six minutes later, Morgan Drew scored on a penalty kick for a 3-0 advantage.
Dayton got its first shot on goal in the 46th minute. North Tahoe got a goal apiece from Fyfe and Cassidy Iverson in the final 20 minutes of the contest.
Dayton finished the season with a 9-7-1 record, including 7-5 in league.
Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or 881-1281.