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Sparks boys soccer wins key match over Truckee
by Dan Eckles
Sep 13, 2012 | 3211 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks boys soccer players celebrate after a 4-2 win over league rival Truckee Thursday. <I>Purchase Sparks Tribune photos from our 'BUY PHOTOS' link.</i>
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks boys soccer players celebrate after a 4-2 win over league rival Truckee Thursday. Purchase Sparks Tribune photos from our 'BUY PHOTOS' link.
When the Sparks and Truckee boys soccer teams meet up there's always a little more intensity in the air. That was certainly the case once again when the Division 1-A North rivals hooked up at SHS Thursday evening.

Truckee scored two goals but Sparks sandwiched those with two of its own on each side to capture a 4-2 league triumph.

The two teams engaged in scoreless play through much of the first half before Sparks eventually found the scoring column. In the 26th minute, Oscar Gomez posted the first goal of the match thanks to an assist from Juan Hernandez.

Then, in the 39th minute, Hector Hernandez found the back of the net with an unassisted goal. The next minute elapsed and the two schools went into halftime of the conference clash with Sparks holding a 2-0 advantage.

"We had good communication," Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. "We've had a hard last week of practices. Our coaches got together and we kind of changed up our schemes. We thought Truckee had a weakness defensively and we attacked that. It was successful."

Truckee showed some offense after the break. The visiting Wolverines scored at the 57 and 70-minute marks, pulling into a 2-2 deadlock with just 10 minutes remaining in the match.

The tie was short-lived. Three minutes later, Gomez added his second score of the day. Ruben Pacheco handled the assist duties on the go-ahead goal.

There was no more magic in the Truckee offense for a potential game-tying goal. In fact, Sparks notched an insurance tally when it scored its final goal of the match, in the 78th minute. Sparks got a direct kick from about 40 yards out on the left side. Vicente Cervantes put a crossing pass into the Truckee defensive box and Juan Hernandez directed it into the goal for the fourth SHS goal.

"I think the biggest thing was we fought toe-to-toe for 70 minutes," Truckee coach Casey Eberhardt said. "Then we had a couple letdowns defensively that gave them just enough space to get a good shot off. That was the difference in the game."

The Railroaders fired 22 shots on the Truckee goal while Truckee managed just seven shots on the day. SHS sophomore goalkeeper Ronaldo Hernandez finished with four saves.

Sparks, the defending state champion, stayed perfect on the young season, improving to 13-0 overall and 5-0 in league play. Truckee fell to 11-2, 4-1.

"This win feels great," Gomez said. "When I scored that first goal, I thought 'We got this.' Truckee is a good team. They are good defensively, but we got after it."

*In the girls match it was all Truckee. The guests put up a trio of first-half goals and cruised to a 4-0 league win over Sparks.

Truckee broke the scoreless tie 21 minutes into the match on a Melissa Cardoza goal. Marcel Reynolds made it a 2-0 game when she scored in the 26th minute.

The Wolverines also got goals from Ashley Harris, in the 39th minute, and Olivia Dunner, in the 50th minute.

While Sparks was never really in contention, its senior goalkeeper, Val Guerrero, saved 24 Truckee shots to keep the score from getting overly lopsided. Railroaders coach Jerry Miller also praised the play of his center defender, Yasmin Felipe, in defeat.

"Val was incredible," Miller said. "And Yasmin was solid too. Even though we gave up a lot of shots, Yasmin and Val saved us from it being an ugly score."

Truckee finished with 34 shots on goal compared to Sparks' seven.

Truckee improved to 9-3-1 while Sparks fell to 0-5-3.

Sparks will not play again until it goes to Fernley Sept. 21 for a pair of Division 1-A crossover affairs against Fernley and Fallon.

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