SPRING CREEK — Following a 1-0 home loss Friday to Wooster, the Spring Creek girls soccer team did not bounce back with a victory Saturday — but — the Lady Spartans did the next-best thing and tied the perennial power in a scoreless draw.
As was the case Friday in the loss to the Lady Colts, Spring Creek started slowly in the first half against South Tahoe — which possessed the ball frequently and challenged the Lady Spartans’ frame with regularity.
Junior Elley Dilworth made a save on a shot by senior Marley Befu, and Spring Creek made a push of its own — a toe poke on a long ball to senior Ellie Herman stopped as the South Tahoe goalie charged forward.
In the back end of Spring Creek’s defense, senior Myah Baisley and junior Arena McDermott made some nice recoveries for deflections on attempts by the Lady Vikings — clearing the ball from the box.
From a corner kick, Befu sent a shot wide to the right of the net — Dilworth making a stop on an attempt by senior Mackenzie Nealis.
Befu crossed a kick from the right wing but pushed the ball wide left, and a corner kick was stopped by Baisley.
For the Lady Spartans, senior Shyann Lamb tagged a shot high and wide to the right, and Baisley move a huge hustle play to boot the ball out of harm’s way in front of an empty net.
Freshman Jacey Lindquist also hustled and challenged opponents on the Lady Spartans’ left side of the field, senior Payge Walz doing the same on the right wing — winning possession of several balls and turning upfield, changing the field position in the Lady Spartans’ favor.
From a free kick, sophomore Aubrey Dawson found the ball and hit a shot wide that was saved by South Tahoe’s keeper.
Junior Avery Beatty stamped a direct kick from distance — placing it on-target — and the keeper dropped the ball, but the Lady Spartans were late on their runs and did not make a follow.
Befu had another shot stopped by Dilworth, and she smacked another kick from the middle off the crossbar — junior Krystyna Schembri sailing the rebound over the frame.
Sophomore Olivia Kwachak found operating on the left edge but shanked a ball wide to the left, and junior Independence Newberry had a free kick batted away from the net — senior Ella Bickert having her rebound deflected in a crowd.
The Lady Vikings continued to threaten, but Spring Creek dodged another bullet as a free kick by senior Jenna Pevenage was hit mere inches high — skipping on the underneath side of the crossbar but now low enough to get a bounce beyond the end line.
Toward the end of the half, Lamb took another free kick and missed wide to the right.
At the break, neither team had netted a ball — leaving zeros on the scoreboard.
In the second half, the Lady Spartans pushed forward — stepping to the ball and playing with much more conviction.
Following a scare on a shot by Nealis — which was deflected by Beatty — the Lady Spartans switched keepers.
Lamb, who started the half in place of Dilworth — who was in a first-half collision — was removed from the posts, freshman Abby Wakefield stepping in the frame.
She immediately made a strong save to her right side on a striped kick from junior Anjelina Maltase.
Lamb launched a free kick that was saved on the other end, and Wakefield stopped a high-arching ball into the wind by Befu.
Nealis missed a clean look wide to the right and over the frame, and the Lady Spartans nearly scored a goal on a great cross by Walz to junior Syerra Silva — who the keeper cut off just in time.
Spring Creek took the upper hand in terms of possession and chances, showing way better passing and hustle to the ball.
The squads exchanged unsuccessful free kicks, and the Lady Spartans nearly booked the go-ahead goal on another direct kick — Lamb nailing the ball from around midfield, senior Riley Moon flying down the pitch with a great run.
However, the keeper stepped forward for a last-second snag.
Immediately after, Moon made a steal and ripped a shot — zipping the ball just barely high.
South Tahoe also almost cashed the difference maker, but junior Jenni Arias hit her ball wide to the right of the net.
In the closing moments, Spring Creek was awarded another free kick — Lamb’s attempt tipped out of the box.
The back-and-forth, tale-of-two-halves affair drew to an end as a scoreless draw.
The Lady Spartans (1-3-2) will play another home series — original slated as a road trip — hosting Fernley (2-4) at 3 p.m. Friday and Dayton (2-2) at 10 a.m. Saturday, kicking off Division 3A North-East play, in Spring Creek.
GALLERY: Wooster at Spring Creek Girls Soccer — Sept. 17, 2021