SPRING CREEK – After watching Incline’s weekend soccer games, it’s hard to believe the Lady Highlanders drove away from Elko County with a 1-0-1 record.
In Friday’s 2-1 victory over Elko, Incline took just two shots — burying both attempts.
Facing Spring Creek on Saturday, the Lady Highlanders were outshot by a total of 36-6.
Despite the wide discrepancy is attempts, the Lady Spartans punched just one attempt into the frame — as did Incline — the game closing as a 1-1 draw.
In the early stages of Saturday’s contest, half of Spring Creek’s attempts came in the first half of the first half.
The Lady Spartans created scoring chances and fired at will, taking considerable time to find a successful finish.
From the middle, senior Libby Murphy’s shot was saved by Incline sophomore goalie Liz Stranzl — who also stopped the next attempt from the right wing by senior Kattalin Lopategui.
Stranzl racked up stuffs quickly, freshman Taylor Brunson and junior Lydia Binger also firing kicks from the wing directly at the goalie.
Spring Creek even stopped itself once, earning an open look in the middle off a rebound — the kick sent straight into the back of a teammate on the ground.
On the other end, the Lady Highlanders created one of their few shots — the boot from senior Madison Corneil deflected by Binger.
The Lady Spartans gained consecutive corner kicks in short order, one sent wide and high onto the top of the net and the other trickled into play short and the shot beaned wide to the right of the far post.
Another solid look for Lopategui was rifled high over the crossbar, a long-distance look from sophomore Shyann Lamb stopped by Stranzl.
Lamb drilled a direct kick, Binger finding an open look but missing wide-left.
As the offense forced the issue, the play in the midfield became a little sloppy — Incline able to flip the field a few times.
Spring Creek junior goalkeeper Betsey Fellows came forward and scooped up a look-ahead pass just before the run arrived.
Binger attempted another shot from the left wing for the Lady Spartans, but the ball was not struck cleanly — making for an easy stuff.
In the back end of the Lady Spartans’ defense, freshman Arena McDermott and junior Hailee Dixon worked together — stopping initial charges and passing off players to one another.
The Lady Spartans came mere inches away from taking the lead on a breakaway down the right side by Binger — her shot bouncing off the underside of the crossbar— and Stranzl made a leaping save from another direct kick by Lamb.
In the 31st minute, Spring Creek’s dominance of field position and number of attempts finally paid off.
Binger did not miss from the same spot as her crossbar ricochet, smoking a solid rip into the back of the net.
Late in the half, the Lady Spartans misfired once again — Lopategui crossing a gorgeous ball to the middle of the box — runners late to follow up with the net wide open.
At the break, Spring Creek led 1-0.
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After missing one attempt wide to the right, Incline created a scoring opportunity of its own — junior Jada Moore appearing to be offside on the play.
Her ball was deflected, junior Kensal Coudriet following up the play for the game-tying goal in the 48th minute.
As the second half rolled on, Spring Creek still managed to mount more attacks at the Incline frame than the Lady Highlanders fired at the Lady Spartans.
However, the Lady Spartans tired as runs and shots were unsuccessful.
The bulk of Spring Creek’s shots were either taken or set up by Lopategui from the right side — crosses often resulting with no follow-ups as fatigue set in.
A direct kick by Lamb was sent high and wide to the right.
The most-promising look of the second half was an open shot taken from the left side of the box, the ball flying wide-right with a large portion of the net uncovered.
Fellows made a crucial stop for the Lady Spartans, advancing from the frame and thwarting a one-on-one push down the middle of the pitch.
Despite dominating the flow and the action of the game, Spring Creek was forced to settle for a 1-1 tie when the final whistle blew.
Spring Creek tagged 36 shots, 23 of which were denied by Stranzl — five of Incline’s six shots stopped by Fellows.
Incline’s record moved to 1-2-1 in league play of the Division 3A North and 3-3-1 overall, the Lady Spartans still looking for their first win of the season — Spring Creek now 0-4-3 overall and 0-2-2 in league play.
“I thought we played great for the most part, but our second half was not nearly as good as the first,” said Spring Creek coach Kami Crowe. “The call on the offside was pretty deflating, and we couldn’t get back on track. We need work on conditioning.”
Versus South Tahoe
Spring Creek played an admirable half Friday against juggernaut South Tahoe, holding the Lady Vikings scoreless through 41 minutes.
However, the second half included a scoring outburst — stemming from defensive lapses and solid kicks.
In the 42nd minute, South Tahoe sophomore Mackenzie Nealis ended the drought with an assist from junior Kelsey Hogan.
The Lady Vikings found their second goal of the second half in the 65th minute, sophomore Ella Beckert scoring from inside the 18-yard box.
Junior Giovana De Loia cashed South Tahoe’s third goal of the second half from inside the box, and the Lady Vikings finished their streak with back-to-back goals by senior Morrison Salmon.
Spring Creek’s lone goal of the contest came off the foot of senior Angelica Cortez, but South Tahoe improved to 3-0 in the 3A North with a 5-1 victory — the Lady Vikings moving to 3-0-1 with a 1-1 tie Saturday against Elko (1-2-1).
“We played really well in the first half, but we shot ourselves in the foot in the second half with defensive breakdowns,” Crowe said. “We had a lot of chances to score. The score could have easily been 5-4 or 5-3.”
The Lady Spartans will look for their first win of the season at 6 p.m. Friday, in Sparks (3-1 in league).
Spring Creek will wrap up the roadie with a noon Saturday match against North Valleys (3-1 in league), in Reno.