“We've got to go back to the drawing board and keep working hard,” Spanish Springs coach Rob Moreland said.
Spanish Springs (0-4-1, 0-3 HDL) kept things close but was unable to convert on a few open offensive opportunities and the result was its third straight conference defeat.
“We've just got to keep working on the same stuff,” Moreland said. “We have to keep combining. We've got opportunities. We've just got to put it away.”
North Valleys scored first in the game to take the initial lead. Alex Martinez took a free kick from the left side, about 25 yards out for the score, which came in the fourth minute of the game.
“I thought we had great opportunities. We could have scored a lot of goals,” Moreland said. “Same old thing, you miss them, you give them opportunities.”
Spanish Springs tied things up on a breakaway goal by Julio Soto in the 17th minute, 1-1.
The teams held steady and kept each other scoreless until late in the second half. North Valleys' Brandon Perez scored in the 70th minute for a lead that the Cougars could not come back from.
The Cougars have a hard week next week, facing traditionally tough HDL rivals Elko and Reed.
“We're just going to try and play our game,” Moreland said. “If we can't play our game. We don't deserve to be out there.”
Elko visits Spanish Springs on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Cougars travel across the city to visit Reed in east Sparks on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Sparks 6, Lowry 0
The Sparks Railroaders didn't falter in the preseason. They won all seven of their preseason games and did not allow a single goal throughout the early season competition.
Sparks got its last win of the preseason with 6-0 decision over the Lowry Buckaroos in Winnemucca Saturday.
“I feel very good,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “We're not looking past anybody.”
Sparks had a 5-0 lead after the first half. Abi Quintino scored in the 14th minute. He was assisted by Kevin Partida. Two minutes later, Eric Ojeda scored on a free kick from nearly 40 yards out.
Andrew Garcia got his first goal of the day and was assisted by Ojeda in the 20th minute. Just one minute later, Cesar Garcia got an unassisted score. Partida joined in the action with a score of his own in the 28th minute, rounding up the first-half scoring.
“We shut things down and played everybody in the second half,” Avilla said. “Our starters pretty much only played the first half.”
Andrew Garcia stuck around in the second half long enough to score a goal in the 50th minute. It was assisted by Quintino.
Sparks headed into the game believing that Lowry was the best team in the other side of 3A North.
Sparks offense was impressive with 60 goals in its seven games of play. It took 212 shots in the preseason affairs.
Sparks' defense was nothing to scoff at either. It did not allow any goals and opponents got off only 28 shots, an average of four shots per game. Avilla explained his defense is comprised of nearly all seniors with the exception of two juniors.
“Our back line is just stopping teams,” Avilla said. “We have faced very good pressure ... It is playing very consistently. The results are showing. The kids are playing good, good soccer. We've done it with some adversity. Our leading scorer (Quintino) has missed two games already.”
Sparks starts Lake League play on Tuesday when it travels to North Tahoe, potentially one of its toughest opponents of the season.
“I think with our continuity and our experience on the back line, this is what we've been waiting for the last six or seven years,” Avilla said.
Sparks and North Tahoe kick off at 3 p.m. The Railroaders play again Thursday at Reno High School at 5 p.m. in a non-league affair.