Sparks wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, tallying its first goal less than two minutes into the match. That came when Vicente Cervantes found Ruben Pacheco for a goal. Seven minutes later, Sparks pushed its lead to 2-0 after Kevin Partida found the net on a Hector Hernandez assist.
The margin was 3-0 in the 13th minute when Cervantes scored following an Edgar Casillas assist.
The hosts extended their edge to 6-0 by halftime. Umberto Gonzalez scored in the 29th minute. Roger Garcia scored in the 34th minute and Oscar Gomez capped the first-half scoring parade with a goal in the 39th minute. Casillas gave away the assist on the fourth goal while Edwin Navarro racked up the assist on the fifth and sixth scores.
“We started off strong, but we did get a little sloppy,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “It was a hard game. It looks like Dayton is re-tooling a bit. I’m sure they’ll be tougher the second time around when we see them at their home.”
The Railroaders did not let up in the second half, adding four more goals, accounting for the final double-digit margin. Pacheco scored in the 42nd and 50th minutes after assists by Partida and Eric Ojeda.
Hector Hernandez and Juan Hernandez handled the scoring chores on the final two Sparks goals of the day, in the 57th and 60th minutes. Partida and Navarro were credited with the final two assists.
Dayton managed just two shots on the Sparks goal in defeat. On the flip side, the Railroaders’ offense got off a barrage of 31 shots.
“We got to play our reserves a lot,” Avilla said. “We did put our starters back in for the first 15 minutes of the second half to work on some set plays and get some touches. They did well.
“It’s the second day of school and our first game at home. I was pleased. The kids ramped it up after we talked about. I’m proud of the fact we kept our focus.”
Sparks (6-0) returns to action this weekend when it plays four matches against Northern 3A eastern and central opponents. Sparks battles Fallon and Lowry Friday before competing against Elko and Spring Creek Saturday. All of the weekend affairs will be played in Fallon.
•The Sparks girls came up on the short end of a 1-0 score to Dayton in the league opener for both squads. The loss was especially tough to take for Sparks as it had two goals waived off, both following off-sides penalties.
Dayton scored the only goal of the match when Maribel Ledebma found the net in the 43rd minute.
Sparks out-shot Dayton 18-8 and dominated possession but came away with nothing to show for it.
“This is a strange feeling for us,” SHS coach Jerry Miller said. “Usually, we’re trying to get by, by the skin of our teeth. This was a reversal for us. We definitely dominated the game. Their one goal was by one person, making one mistake, and it was our best player on the field. So that made that mistake hard to swallow.
“We had a lot of girls play the best game I’ve ever seen them play, but our lack of conditioning is what killed us. We couldn’t finish things off. We had girls stop making runs and pressing shots because they were out of gas. When you have 10 days to get in shape and you come in grossly out of shape, it takes a lot to get in shape.”
Like the Sparks boys, The SHS girls will compete in Northern 3A crossover league games at Fallon Friday and Saturday.
•At Spanish Springs, The Cougar girls won their season opener, posting a 6-3 home win over Wooster in a Northern 4A crossover league game Tuesday evening.
Cailtin Moreland and Kiley Diesner tallied goals in the eighth and 11th minutes respectively for Spanish Springs and it had an early 2-0 advantage. Alyssa Bertuleit and Megan Evans gave away the assists.
Wooster put up a late first-half goal and the scoreboard was left to read 2-1 at the intermission.
Spanish Springs forged ahead 4-1 when Evans and Bertuleit scored unassisted goals in the 47th and 53rd minutes.
The visiting Colts tried to hang around, getting their second goal in the 55th minute and trimming the SSHS lead to 4-2.
It didn’t take long for Spanish Springs to answer. Moreland took an assist from Michelle McKenzie at the 58-minute mark, pushing the Cougars’ lead back to three goals, 5-2.
The two teams traded goals in the final 20 minutes of play, accounting for the final 6-3 score. Aubrey Williams scored the final Spanish Springs goal, in the 79th minute. Syndey Byers had the assist.
“In the first half, I felt the girls played really well,” Cougars coach Mike Faker said. “I didn’t have to say much early. The defense was really organized. Then we started changing some things around and we had a few breakdowns. Obviously, we have some things to work on, but for our first game of the season, I’m actually pretty happy with how we played.”
Spanish Springs is back on the soccer pitch Tuesday at home against Manogue. First kick is set for 5:30 p.m.
•At Reed, the RHS girls were taken down by two-time defending North State champion Douglas, 2-0.
The visiting Tigers got all the offense they needed from freshman forward Alex VonSchottenstein. She scored an unassisted goal in the seventh minute and added a second score just before halftime. DHS teammate Alexis Weaver served up the assist on the 39th minute goal.
Despite defeat, Reed coach Jason Saville saw plenty of positives from his short-handed, inexperienced club, which did not substitute in the entire game.
“It goes down as a loss, but that’s the biggest win we’ve had in the last two years,” Saville said. “The amount of effort, commitment, passion and creativity we showed was awesome. Yeah, we lost the game, but we didn’t lose to some Mickey Mouse Club. We lost to the defending state champs and our girls battled the whole way.”
Reed played eight underclassmen all 80 minutes of the conference contest. He was most pleased with his team’s patience.
“We played simple,” he said. “We didn’t bang it down there every time we got close. We built up and played creatively off the ball. Coming in, I was afraid that we would play afraid. But these girls did not play scared.”
Reed goes to Carson Tuesday.