Every time the South Lake Tahoe girls soccer team faces the Greenwave in Fallon, Vikings coach Mark Salmon doesn’t know what to expect.
Wednesday was no different after the Lady Vikings blanked Fallon 6-0 in a Northern 3A match at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex. South Tahoe improves to 5-4 overall, 5-2 in league, while Fallon falls to 0-4-4 overall and 0-4-3 in the 3A.
Not helping the Vikings was a patchwork lineup because of four injured players and two who, Salmon said, were pretty “banged up.”
“Today we had a sub and a half, heat (92 degrees) and a thick grass field,” Salmon said as the sun was dropping behind the west-field trees. “Fallon always plays us tough down here, but the result was good.”
The Vikings jumped on the Lady Wave for a quick goal within the first 3 minutes of the match when Ana Garcia, a midfielder and forward, drilled the ball into the net.
For the rest of the first half, South Tahoe’s offense spread the ball out and moved it around effortlessly. Fallon had several attempts in winning the ball, but the Vikings pulled back into their defense and regained control. The Wave pushed the Vikings to make some of their passes and kept South Tahoe away from the net until the last six minutes.
Garcia recorded her second goal of the match when her long kick rolled to the right side as the Fallon goalkeeper shifted to her right side.
Unable to push into the Vikings’ side of the field, South Tahoe put pressure on Fallon and at the 3:52 mark, Lourdes Guitierrez took a one-on-one shot on goal and scored.
Fallon pushed the ball down toward the Vikings’ goal after the midfield kick, but a shot veered wide to deny Fallon’s first goal.
“We weren’t putting our passes together,” said Fallon coach Lance Lattin. “We were putting players into new position, but the problem is we only played defense. I don’t think we strung three passes together.”
Salmon said the way Fallon was playing in the second half, the score could have been easily 1-0 instead of 3-0.
Fallon’s defense played more intensely during the first 10 minutes of the second half by working the ball better on offense. The Wave tried to maintain ball control on the perimeter.
South Tahoe broke the second-half stillness when Garcia scored her third goal of the match when she ran down the middle but then kicked the ball into the inside corner of the left side.
South Tahoe had a shot on goal thwarted when Fallon’s Jordyn Dahl blocked the ball near the net’s entrance.
South Tahoe, though, spread out the offense to make Fallon worker harder on defense.
“Once we got wide, we created space and got good shot opportunities,” Salmon said.
Dahl received help in the front from midfielder Mayla Dahl and forward Maddie Guerrero that seemed to slow down the Vikings. Near the 8:16 mark, Yareli Barajas worked the left side and was able to push in a shot for her team’s fifth goal.
Near the end of the match, Mara Garcia kicked a high-arching shot from about 20 feet out, and the ball sailed over the goalkeeper’s head into the back of the net.
Salmon said the middle of the field afforded his players more space, but he felt Fallon was playing more defensive.
Lattin said his team did not win many possessions, but he said his players put forth a good effort against South Tahoe, which has lost only to Incline and league-leading Truckee.
“They’re young and inexperienced and getting better,” Lattin said of the Greenwave.