Despite playing one of the weaker teams in the High Desert League and outshooting the non-playoff team by a 20-6 margin, the Cougars had to settle for a 1-1 draw, sealing third place for the playoffs.
"It's disappointing, but if we had gotten beat out there, then I'd be really disappointed," SSHS coach Mike Faker said. "We did a bunch of things I wanted us to do, but we just couldn't finish. I'm not sure what was going on. We definitely had our opportunities."
Spanish Springs owned a huge advantage in speed up top and forward Laura Voss was consistently blowing past the defense on breakaways. However, Voss only found the back of the net once when Megan Evans sent a pass ahead to Voss, who juked past the McQueen keeper and scored an empty-net goal in the 10th minute.
Fifteen minutes later, Voss had another breakaway opportunity, but she touched the ball too far ahead of herself and the keeper was able to collect it, leaving the score 1-0 heading into halftime.
Spanish Springs honored its seven seniors during the halftime intermission, but it didn't spark any more goal scoring by the hosts. In fact, it was the Lancers who turned up the pressure midway through the second half.
McQueen had a chance at a breakaway goal but the shot went into the side of the net with 16:30 to play in the game.
Four minutes later, Spanish Springs goalkeeper Erica Lorenz came out to make the stop, but the rebound went back to a Lancer, who launched a shot from way outside that squeaked just under the crossbar for the equalizer.
The Cougars (11-4-2, 8-3-1 HDL) had plenty of chances to pick up a win and the three points, but their attempts continually missed the mark.
With four minutes to go, Voss had a clear lane to the goal, but her shot just went wide of the far post.
Voss then tried to feed teammate Shaylor Francom the ball with under two minutes left. Voss's cross was on target, but Francom chipped the shot too high and hit the crossbar.
Just before the final horn sounded, Morgan Allen took a free kick from four yards outside the box and sent it sailing high.
"We just couldn't finish. We hit a bunch of posts though," Faker said. "There was one thing I did want to see. Lately our midfield has just been getting beat up, but today they played with some serious effort. That was something that was nice to see, but not being able to finish was our problem today."
Reed 2, North Valleys 0
It was a far cry from the 8-2 shellacking the Raiders put on the Panthers in the teams' first meeting of the season, but a win is a win and it enabled Reed to earn the No. 2 spot and what appears to be a meeting with South Tahoe in the Northern state quarterfinals.
Reed scored both of its goals six minutes apart from each other.
The first came in the 27th minute when Kelsey Gomer crossed a pass to the far post and Lora Wagener was there to tip it in for a 1-0 lead.
In the 33rd minute, Alissa Marshall buried a one-timer that came off the keeper.
Reed coach Jason Saville said two-thirds of the midfield was different due to injuries and that led to chemistry issues on the field. For a 25-minute span, there were three freshmen and three sophomores on the field for the Raiders.
"Give North Valleys credit. They didn't back down," Saville said.
Reed (9-4-1, 9-3 HDL) will play at noon Saturday at Damonte Ranch.