SPRING CREEK – Following home losses of 2-1 on Friday to Sparks and 5-1 on Saturday versus North Valleys, the Spring Creek boys soccer team saw its postseason hopes fly out the window.
The Railroaders built a 2-0 lead, scoring each of their goals on dead-ball situations.
In the first half, the initial strike came on a direct kick from outside the penalty box – Sparks taking a 1-0 lead at halftime.
After the break, the Railroaders were awarded a penalty kick for a handball in the box – the boot opening a two-goal advantage.
Spring Creek sliced the lead in half in the final 10 minutes – the Spartans earning a PK of their own when senior Chris DeAngelo was tripped in the box – junior Noah Rice booming the penalty boot.
In the end, Spring Creek fell a goal short – falling 2-1 to the perennial power.
Versus North Valleys
Division 4A-transplant North Valleys went to work early and often against the Spartans, scoring four goals before intermission in a 5-1 victory for the Panthers.
The Panthers struck first, but the Spartans tied the contest 1-1.
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Sophomore Alex Estrada assisted Spring Creek’s lone goal, head coach Leaf Knotts saying the score could have been awarded to either Rice or senior Kaden Westmoreland.
“Alex made the pass and Noah took the shot. The ball bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and went down, and Kaden followed the play and made sure we got the goal,” he said.
North Valleys scored three more goals before the break for a 4-1 halftime lead, adding another for good measure in the second half for a 5-1 win.
The Spartans were forced to play the weekend contests without the services of sophomore goalkeeper Jacob Rios, who Knotts said suffered a concussion in practice.
Junior Brandon Shields stepped between the posts for Spring Creek.
With the losses to Sparks and North Valleys, the Spartans fell to 5-9-1 in the Division 3A North – South Tahoe (9-6-1) securing at least a 5-seed – Spring Creek falling from postseason contention.
The Spartans will close their year with a three-game road stint – the first contest coming at 4 p.m. Tuesday against Elko (4-10-1), at Adobe Middle School.
Spring Creek won the first meeting 4-0 on Oct. 2, searching for back-to-back season sweeps of the Indians.
Elko is coming off losses of 5-1 to North Valleys on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday to Sparks.
The Indians will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014, the Spartans’ season ending early each of the past three years.