McQueen's senior midfielder Keon Jones put on a scoring show. He recorded a hat trick, handling all of the Lancers' scoring chores.
"Yes that's frustrating when you pretty much let one guy beat you," Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said. "Especially when you talk about it before the game. We know he is all about his right foot. We controlled him the first time we played and we shut him down."
Jones wasted little time helping his Lancers get on the scoreboard. He scored in the 10th minute and McQueen had the early 1-0 edge.
The 1-0 margin stayed intact into halftime. However, Jones found his scoring touch again, shortly after the second half began. He gave McQueen an insurance goal at the 45-minute mark, extending the northwest Reno school's lead to 2-0.
Jones added his final goal just four minutes later, in the 49th minute, accounting for the final 3-0 score.
McQueen (7-6-2) , which is fighting North Valleys and Reno for the HDL's third and fourth playoff seeds. Only the top four teams will advance to postseason play, meaning one of the schools in that trio will be left out of the playoff mix.
"We possessed the ball well and played well together, as opposed to playing like 11 individuals," rookie McQueen coach Dane Meier said. "We controlled the pace of play. They had to adjust to how we were playing.
"We've won three in a row now and we're starting to peak. We had a stretch of games in the middle that was tough, but everything is coming together at the right time so I think we can go far in the playoffs."
Conversely, all is not well in the Cougars' camp. Spanish Springs has scored just one goal in its last four matches, and that came on a penalty kick. Luckily for Spanish Springs, its defense still showed up in two of those matches. During that stretch, the Cougars have tied twice, 0-0, lost 2-1 and then lost Saturday's conference clash 3-0.
"We have hit a rut," Moreland said. "We're trying to fight our way out, but we're not making smart decisions. We're watching instead of participating. We're playing a step behind. We've got one game left to figure it out.
Spanish Springs fell to 9-4-2 with the weekend defeat. The Cougars have one match left in their regular season, Tuesday night at home against cross-town rival Reed. A win would lock up the HDL's No. 2 regional tournament seed and a home playoff game.
"We do have a lot to play for," Moreland said. "Home-field is important to us and getting off the 'schnide' should be important to us. If we can't score goals going into the playoffs, we've got a problem; and it gets harder to score in the playoffs."
McQueen's Bailey Allison broke a 2-2 tie when she scored in the 78th minute, giving the visiting Lancers 3-2 upset road win over HDL-leading Spanish Springs Saturday afternoon.
A McQueen corner kick sailed high and long as it crossed in front of the Spanish Springs goal, but Allison settled the kick, got control of the ball and then fired a shot in the upper right-hand corner of the Cougars' goal for the game-winning score.
McQueen (6-7-2) had taken leads of 1-0 and 2-1 only to watch Spanish Springs (10-3-2) answer and deadlock the match. There was not enough time for the Cougars to tie the game for a third time following Allison's late-game heroics.
Audrey Barham scored the SSHS crew's first goal, knotting the match at a goal apiece. Taylor Kern tallied the second goal for the hosts, making the score 2-2. The two girls also assisted each other on the two scores.
"We just won a lot of balls. We were first to get there a lot," McQueen assistant coach Kelly Bowden said. "We are playing to make the playoffs and seeding. This is huge for us."
Spanish Springs coach Mike Faker said he was resting three starters, trying to get his team 100 percent healthy as it gears up for the regional tournament just 10 days away. Still, he wasn't happy with the loss.
"Some of those kids probably could've played. I want to be 100 percent for the playoffs, but I still want to win these games," Faker said. "We should've been better. It was an off day. All three goals they scored were on our mistakes. Our play in the middle of the field hurt us."
Spanish Springs concludes is regular season Monday at home when Rail City rival Reed goes to SSHS for a 5:30 p.m. match.