ELKO — A porous first half spelled doom for the Elko boys soccer team on Saturday versus McQueen.
The Lancers pumped home four goals before the break and added two more in the second, rolling past the Indians by a final score of 6-2.
In the ninth minute, McQueen took the lead for good.
Elko’s defense failed to clear the ball away from the box, sophomore Roberto Castillo cleaning up the loose ball with a rope into the frame.
Senior OC Orozco sent a long free kick that was on target but saved the McQueen keeper.
Wasting no time adding to the cushion, junior Ethan Griffin drove a low shot through the legs of an Indian defender — his left-footed boot crossing the field and sneaking inside the right upright for a 2-0 advantage in the 17th minute.
Four minutes later, the margin swelled to 3-0 — senior Mason Gildersleeve dribbling through Elko’s entire defense for a goal in the 21st minute.
Sophomore Marcos Carlos made a strong push down the right side of the field for the Indians, but his kick from the wing was stopped by the goalie.
Castillo tagged his second goal of the contest from a throw-in in the 31st minute for a 4-0 lead.
Elko junior sweeper Miguel Abarca found an offensive opportunity from the middle of the field but missed wide to the left, and Carlos zipped an attempt that flew just high of the crossbar.
Defensively, freshman Landon Kalaveras was inserted for the Indians and made some great plays in the back end toward the end of the half — maintaining a four-goal deficit.
In the second half, Elko elected to play senior Fabian Lara at goalie.
He made some great saves, both laying out for tips and stopping ensuing rebounds as well.
The Indians finally flipped with field with regularity, possessing the ball near McQueen’s frame often.
Carlos took a shot that was saved and had another miss high and wide to the right.
In the 52nd minute, he placed a perfect free kick from distance on the right wing — senior Manny Cortes timing his run and stamping his head on the ball for Elko’s first goal of the contest.
Abarca also nearly added a header of his own moments later, and sophomore Nico Avila missed a shot wide to the left.
However, Avila avenged the errant shot with a well-place kick in the 57th minute — set up by a cross from Cortes over to Carlos, who assisted the score — brining Elko to within a pair at 4-2.
The Lancers received the wakeup call and began to mount attacks in return, Lara making a number of remarkable saves in the process.
Orozco was pushed in the box on the left side but did not receive a call, and sophomore Leo Pulgar hit an attempt wide to the left from the middle.
McQueen opened a three-goal for the second time in the 68th minute — doing so from deep.
On a free kick from beyond midfield on the left side, senior Cristian Bonilla unleashed a bomb across the pitch to well inside the right edge of the box — Castillo heading the ball from the air and into the net for a 5-2 advantage on his hat trick.
The teams swapped saves, Lara making a stop for the Indians and the Lancers’ keeper grabbing an on-target shot from Pulgar.
Elko never recovered from the gut punch of McQueen’s fifth goal, and the margin grew to four once more in the 75th minute.
Instead of sending a free kick toward the frame, the Lancers passed the ball to Griffin on the wing.
He dribbled free and blasted a rocket across the field to the right edge of the net at a ridiculous angle.
McQueen started fast and finished strong in a 6-2 victory over Elko.
The Indians (2-4-1) are scheduled to play at South Tahoe (0-0) at 4:45 p.m. Friday, but the Vikings have not played a game yet — the school shut down due to wildfires.
Elko will close its road trip with an 11:45 a.m. Saturday kick against Douglas, in Minden.