INCLINE VILLAGE – Spring Creek captured its first win of league play with a dominating 5-1 win over the Highlanders.
Spring Creek is 1-2, thanks to putting up four goals in the first half Friday, primarily looking to counter attack when Incline tried bringing the ball into the attacking end.
It was a relatively easy day for goalkeeper Jacob Rios in his first game back from injury, as he stopped six of the seven shots he faced on goal.
Rios got goal support early with a goal in the fifth minute from Kynan Lee, who received a pass from Mason Dixon off of a throw-in to open up the scoring.
Cody McDonald scored the second goal of the match in the 23rd minute on an individual effort that featured a strong shot from outside the box that beat the keeper.
Spring Creek head Coach Leaf Knotts said his team took advantage of some poor ball movement by Incline.
“They weren’t as strong as what they were last year,” he said. “With their inability to pass and move the ball we were able to have them make turnovers and counter attack. That’s how we scored most of our goals.”
Spring creek added another tally in the 35th minute. Dixon found some room and made a run toward the goal and slipped the ball to Kaden Westmoreland, allowing him to finish the play with the keeper out of position.
Noah Rice scored in the 39th minute right before halftime and Cade Carson scored a goal in the first minute of the second half on a designed kickoff play.
Incline scored a goal of its own in the 51st minute but did not mount much offensive pressure after that. Spring Creek was content to play conservative soccer and not push the pace in the final 40 minutes.
Knotts said his team was working on running to open space to create better scoring opportunities when they were looking to counter attack.
“We spent a lot of time in practice on making runs,” he said. “That was opening us up more for the counter attack. We had guys ready move. It was a good thing we worked on that in practice.”
Sam Herman and Garrett Whimple are key parts of Spring Creek’s back line and were not available for Incline but will be joining the team for Saturday’s game against North Tahoe.
The addition of Herman and Whimple will be key as Brennan Moon picked up a red card before stoppage time and cannot play against the Lakers.
Knotts said his team will need all the help it can get going against one of the top teams in the league.
“The Incline coach said that North Tahoe probably has the top team in the league,” he said. “Whimple and Herman will have fresh legs so that will be a big help.”