Spanish Springs took a lead into the final minute of play, but gave up a late goal and settled for a 1-1 tie in the High Desert League soccer match at Reno.
Leading 1-0, with less than a minute left, Reno was awarded a direct kick in front of the Spanish Springs goal. Huskies midfielder Michelle Wham fired a shot on goal. Spanish Springs goalkeeper Caitlyn Silva failed to secure the soccer ball. It bounced off her hands and Reno sophomore Sophia Valles was waiting in open space in the SSHS defensive box. She drilled the loose ball into the back of the net, deadlocking the conference clash at 1-1.
"She just went up and finished that. It was all heart," Reno coach Shelly Avansino said of Valles' late tying score. "It was nice to see the girls not give up. At the same time, a tie is hard because I thought we dominated possession."
Seconds after Spanish Springs got the ensuing kickoff, the official whistled the second-half clock dead and Reno had escaped with a tie, denying its guests a chance for a late go-ahead score.
The league rivals battled through a scoreless first half. Spanish Springs took a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute. The Cougars' goal came thanks to the strong right foot of Audrey Barham. Alyssa Bertuleit gave away the assist.
Reno had chances to score in the 66th and 68th minutes but Wham sent direct kicks from just beyond the box high and wide right respectively.
The host Huskies had another chance to knot the match in the 72nd minute but Silva scooped up a low lined RHS shot in front of the goal for a save.
"We had a lot of attacking opportunities and didn't execute," Avansino said. "It would have been tough to lose, but soccer can be a funny game … We're getting better every day and that's what I'm pleased with."
Reno (0-2-1) was much more offensive minded than Spanish Springs Tuesday. The Huskies fired up 17 shots on goal compared to Spanish Springs' nine. Silva finished with 10 saves in the SSHS net.
"It's tough in some respects to get a tie, but they were hungrier than we were," Spanish Springs coach Mike Faker said. "We didn't deserve to win that game. They had more opportunities. They played better than us.
"I think they played harder than us. Their kids up top were relentless. We had a hard time stopping them."
Spanish Springs (3-0-1) returns to the soccer pitch Saturday for a crossover league game at Bishop Manogue. First kick is set for 1 p.m.
*At Sparks, the host Railroaders were following a similar script as their Rail City counterparts, Spanish Springs. Sparks took a late lead into the final two minutes only to be forced to settle for a 1-1 tie against North Tahoe in a non-league match
Leading 1-0, Sparks watched North Tahoe score with just two minutes remaining and salvage a draw. Lakers forward Hannah Perkins blasted a shot from the circle, just past midfield. The high lofting shot got by Sparks goalkeeper Val Guerrerro and found its way into the net for a tying score.
"Val was pretty upset with that goal she gave up," Sparks coach Jerry Miller said. "Perkins sent a high shot from way out and we were facing the sun in the second half. Val just got blinded and kind of misplayed it, so it went in.
"They snuck one in on us. It's a game we should've won. We kind of dominated play."
Neither team scored before halftime but Sparks broke up the scoreless tie at the 65-minute mark. That's when senior forward Andrea Gumina blasted a shot into the net for the Railroaders' lone goal. SHS senior midfielder Norma Robles gave away the assist.
"We've tied our last two games, tied Spring Creek after being down," Miller said. "So we seem to be getting it together a little bit. We are definitely shooting more. We had issues where we were not getting enough shots off. We changed systems and our personnel. So we're getting more shots. Now, hopefully, those start going in more often."
North Tahoe now sits 3-4-1 while Sparks is 0-4-3. The SHS club is in action again Thursday when it hosts traditionally tough Truckee at 3 p.m.
*At Hug, Reed steamrolled the host Hawks. The visiting Raiders scored three times in the first 16 minutes and cruised to an 11-0 romp in a matchup of High Desert League opponents.
Aubrie Ciesynski recorded a hat trick-plus one for Reed with her four goals. Her first goal came four minutes into the match and proved to kick start the Raiders' offense.
Reed proceeded to tack on six more goals before halftime. Those came in the fifth, 16th, 29th, 30th, 33rd and 39th minutes. Vanessa Martinez added three goals for the Raiders, all in the second half. She also chipped in an assist.
"Last year at Hug we only got out of there with a 1-1 tie," Reed coach Jason Saville said. "We dropped some points there in the standings that at the end hurt us. Today, the girls came in and took it right to them in the first 10 or 15 minutes. We made sure lightning didn't strike twice. It was very well done and over early."
The Raiders added four more goals in the second half, all of which came in the first 13 minutes after the intermission.
Kennady Whitehead also had a stellar day for Reed. She scored a goal and contributed two assists to the winning cause.
Lindsay Marsh, Vanessa Arzaluz and Heidi Marchant all found the scoring column for Reed as well.
Reed (2-1) will be at home Thursday for a make-up game when the Raiders host Reno in a league match set for a 7 p.m. first kick.