Three minutes into the game, Kevin Partida ripped a laser that barely sailed over the crossbar. It didn’t take long for the Railroaders to start hitting their mark with shots.
In the 10th minute, Eric Ojeda unleashed a slightly deflected shot from the top of the box, but the direction of the shot was not affected enough to prevent Ojeda from finding the back of the net for the first goal.
Partida got his goal in the 28th minute thanks to an assist by Juan Davolos, pushing the gap to 2-0.
With about six minutes remaining before halftime, Davolos booted a hard shot off the Highlander goalkeeper’s hands and into the near side of the goal, giving the hosts a 3-0 halftime lead.
Incline packed in its defense after the break, sometimes leaving back six defenders. That limited Sparks’ chances on goal, but with five minutes left in the game, the Maroon and Gold earned a penalty kick.
Marco Madrigal was pulled down in the box. He then proceeded to deliver the fourth goal by going to the left side of the goal as the keeper dove right.
Javier Torres picked up the shutout in goal for Sparks.
“I’m very pleased, not because of the win, but because we applied what we’ve worked on,” Sparks boys soccer coach Frank Avilla said. “If we keep applying that, anything can happen in the league. We have a strong league this year, but we’re not going to put anyone on a pedestal. We’re a team playing with efficiency. The boys are playing simple soccer.”
Sparks (5-1-1, 2-0-1 in league) won’t get much harder of a test, having to travel to Truckee Tuesday and South Tahoe Thursday. Both are 5 p.m. games.
•In girls action, Sparks was much improved over past performances versus the Highlanders but it still did not lead to a ‘W’ as Incline won the 3-1 decision.
The visitors picked up a pair of goals within five minutes of each other and that was good enough to hold off Sparks.
A minute after Incline made it 2-0 on a penalty kick, Sparks got on the board with a marker by Jessica Mendoza in the 22nd minute. Clair Jacinto assisted on the goal.
However, an own goal by the Railroaders in the 67th minute put the game out of reach.
“I had a good feeling we could win this game today,” Sparks girls soccer coach Jerry Miller said. “We had a lot of opportunities. We had some 1-on-1’s with the goalkeeper and we should win those every time. We certainly had chances, but we didn’t take advantage of them.
“Have we made great strides? Yeah. We’re so close to beating these Tahoe schools. The girls know they had a chance today. We can grow from that.”
The Sparks girls (4-3, 1-2 in league) will kick off at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Truckee.