Spanish Springs improved to 3-0 in HDL matches and 6-1-1 overall.
“We were playing a little shorthanded, missing four starters,” North Valleys coach Vicki Moss said. “Because of that, we did not have fresh legs and we had some kids playing out of position.”
The woes for the visiting Panthers mattered little to their hosts.
The Cougars broke the scoreless tie on an unassisted goal by Lindsey Pengelly at the 25-minute mark. It didn’t take Spanish Springs long to build on its early edge. Three minutes later, the Cougs got another unassisted goal, this one from senior Shaylor Francom.
Neither team scored in the final 12 minutes of the first half and the scoreboard read 2-0 at the intermission.
In the 51st minute, Jade Wright gave Spanish Springs a 3-0 advantage thanks to an assist from Ellie Rybak.
Megan Evans capped the match scoring when she found the net in the 63rd minute. Ashley Mitchell gave away the assist on the final Cougars goal of the conference clash.
Spanish Springs coach Mike Faker was less than thrilled with his team’s lackluster play in a win over Hug Tuesday. He liked Saturday’s effort better.
“We were better today than we were in the Hug game,” Faker said. “The kids were more intense. Our energy was better. Our play was better than just the kickball we played a couple days ago.
“We weren’t as good offensively as we were against Reno a week ago. Our offense requires hustle and if that’s not there, we struggle. It wasn’t as good as we’ve been, but it was better.”
Defensively, Spanish Springs recorded its third straight league shutout. However, the Cougars play perennial league powers Elko and Reed next week. Their defense is likely to be tested.
“We haven’t had a league goal scored against us,” Faker said. “But we are still working on it. That’s a main focus of mine. We still have Reed, Elko and McQueen, who we know will be good. I’m not sure our defense is good enough yet. There’s still room for growth.”
The Cougars go to Elko Tuesday for a 3:30 p.m. match.
Sparks 4, Lowry 2
•The Sparks Railroaders wrapped up non-league play Saturday afternoon with a 4-2 road triumph over Lowry High in Winnemucca.
Lowry knotted the match at 2-2 with a goal in the 31st minute. That’s as good as it got for the hosts. Sparks (5-1-1) answered with goals of its own in the 49th and 52nd minutes to secure the win. Dannae Soto and Andrea Gumina accounted for the two scores.
Sparks got on the scoreboard first, tallying a goal 22 minutes into the match. Soto found the net for the score.
Lowry tied the match at 1-1 at the 26-minute mark, but three minutes later Jessica Mendoza gave Sparks the lead again with a goal on a direct kick.
Nora Valenzuela had four saves in goal for the SHS squad.
Sparks kicks off 3A North Lake League action Tuesday at North Tahoe at 5 p.m.