“We played very good touch ball tonight,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “It was much better than we did last night. We went back to our style of play … We adapted. They didn’t put pressure on us but we learned from our mistakes last night and didn’t play kickball.”
Sparks got on the scoreboard first with a goal in the 13th minute. Andrew Garcia handled the scoring chores on the initial goal thanks to an assist from Cesar Garcia.
The 1-0 margin stayed intact well into the second half.
Sparks tacked on its second score in the 55th minute. Abi Quintino found the net on an assist from Edgar Casillas.
Whittell was able to stay in contention when it narrowed the gap to 2-1 thanks to an own goal from Sparks at the 63-minute mark. Unfortunately for the Stateline school, that’s as good as it got.
The Railroaders iced the win with a pair of goals in the final 12 minutes. Sparks forged ahead 3-1 in the 68th minute when Kevin Partida scored after Arnold Cardenas provided an assist. In the final minute of the game, Andrew Garcia added the last Sparks score. Partida tallied the last assist.
The Sparks offense was potent, firing off 42 shots on goal. Whittell managed only four shots against the SHS defensive unit.
Avilla credit Whittell’s goalkeeper, Renaldo Bernadino, with a standout performance, noting the Warriors freshman saved 12 shots, many of the head-turning variety.
Sparks (9-1-2) gets back to action Tuesday when it goes to Incline for a 2 p.m. conference clash.
•Sparks came up on the short end of a 4-3 score at Whittell Thursday night.
With the loss, Sparks falls to 5-3-2 overall and 0-2-1 in Lake League play.
Down a goal, Sparks pulled into a 1-1 tie when Dennae Soto scored in the 16th minute.
The score remained 1-1 into halftime. Whittell posted goals in the 48th and 68th minutes to forge ahead 3-1.
Sparks’ Andrea Gumina got the Railroaders within a goal, 3-2, at the 70-minute mark. The one-goal margin was short-lived as Whittell scored to go up 4-222 in the 72nd minute.
Jackie Mendoza capped the match’s scoring when she tacked on a goal in the final minute of play.
“We had opportunities. We feel we could’ve won this. The kids were pretty disappointed. They knew they were close. A couple costly penalties did us in.”
Sparks plays again Tuesday at Incline at 4 p.m.