White Pine High’s girls soccer return to the Division III state tournament didn’t go as the team had hoped, but coach Tylar Laity said losing to the defending state champions was nothing to hang their heads over.
No. 1 seeded North Tahoe, which won the title last year, beat White Pine 3-0 last Friday in the semifinals.
Whittell topped Incline in the other semifinal, then North Tahoe beat Whittell 3-1 on Saturday.
Laity said it was really cold on Friday afternoon at Incline High, “in the lower 30s and as the sun went down, it got even colder.”
He said, “In the first half, the Lakers dominated the ball a lot more than we did, but defense played really well the first 25 minutes. Then North Tahoe got in deep, had a nice crossing shot from the corner that our keeper, (Hannah Barber), made a high save, but the ball bounced away and another Laker player close by put it in. It was a tough ball to grab, so she batted it off to the side, but one of their players was right there with the follow.”
Laity said North Tahoe (16-3-2) is a well-rounded team with eight seniors, and the most offensive powerhouse in the conference, with 95 goals on the year.
The Lakers got a second score with about 10 remaining in the first half for a 2-0 lead at the break. “Our defense was doing a nice job in the first half, just gave up a goal on a mistake and then a really nice shot by them,” Laity said.
He said, because of North Tahoe’s offensive dominance, and experienced defense, the Ladycats didn’t have a lot of scoring opportunities, “giving the ball away too much and not taking advantage of when we did have it.”
White Pine played better in the second half, maintaining possession more, and getting a few more shots on goal, “and our defense played well then also,” Laity said.
North Tahoe’s third goal was a controversial one, he said. “The ball came from about 30 yards out, went off the crossbar and hit the line below. We thought it hit the line, and not a goal, but the side judge said it was a clean goal and awarded the point.”
Laity gave credit to the girls for playing good defense and the goalie for doing a good job. “Our midfielders and forwards had their chances, they just couldn’t score.”
White Pine finished 11-9, and with only two seniors on the team, Laity is looking forward to the 2016 season and a good finish for the team.