SPRING CREEK – The second meeting of the Spring Creek and Sparks girls soccer teams played out a lot differently than the first, much to the pleasure of Lady Spartans’ head coach Kami Crowe.
When the Lady Spartans played the Lady Railroaders on Sept. 9 in Sparks, the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
No danger of a tie happening Saturday in Spring Creek.
Crowe said her team struggled in the early going, calling it a “rough first half.”
The Lady Spartans got on the board early, senior Ashley Child scoring on an assist from junior Kierra Watson in the seventh minute.
Sparks answered and tied the game three minutes later on a goal from junior Brittany Mora from an assist by sophomore Daniela Castorena.
Spring Creek took the lead for good in the 14th minute.
Child set up the goal with an assist on a corner kick as senior Kate Meisner tallied the score.
Despite possessing a 2-1 lead at halftime, Crowe wanted to see better production from her team.
The Lady Spartans answered the challenge and then some to start the second half.
Senior Kaitlyn McLeod gave the Lady Spartans a 3-1 lead only five minutes removed from the break, starting a Spring Creek scoring spree.
Child punched home her second goal of the contest in the 47th minute, two minutes following McLeod’s score, McLeod setting up Child with an assist.
McLeod dished another assist, her second of the half, to junior Kayla Jones, who drove a ball into the Sparks net for Spring Creek’s third goal in 13 minutes to start the second half.
The offensive onslaught came to a close in the 55th minute with a hat-trick finish.
Child tallied her third goal of the game and the Lady Spartans’ fourth score in a 15-minute span, giving Spring Creek a 6-1 advantage.
Crowe cleared her bench and gave the younger players some varsity experience, and the Lady Spartans cruised to a 6-1 victory.
“I think the difference in the game compared to the first time we played them was our urgency,” she said. “They got it figured out and scored five-unanswered goals, four in the first half of the second half. We finished a lot better today. We had a lot of opportunities when we played in Sparks, but we could not capitalize on anything.”
The Lady Spartans improved to 6-4-1 in league play of the Division 3A North, dropping Sparks to 1-8-1.
Spring Creek avenged one of its most unwanted outcomes with a lopsided victory.
Looking forward, Crowe hopes her team can turn the tables on another set of some of Spring Creek’s down moments during the first half of the year.
The Lady Spartans will host Incline (5-3-2) at 2 p.m. Friday, closing their home stand at 10 a.m. Saturday against North Tahoe (8-1-1).
The Lady Highlanders defeated Spring Creek 4-0 on Sept. 15, North Tahoe blanking the Lady Spartans by a 3-0 final on Sept. 16.
“We had a lot of mental breakdowns defensively during those games. Incline scored all four goals in the first half,” Crowe said. “North Tahoe has a really good forward (sophomore Maile Markham), so we know that we have to focus on stopping her. I’m expecting a lot better games than the first times we played them.”