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Sparks soccer sweeps Whittell
by Dan Eckles
Sep 30, 2010 | 1241 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks High sisters, sophomore Jackie Mendoza (being held) and senior Jessica Mendoza (20), celebrate Jackie’s first-half goal during the Railroaders’ 2-1 win over Whittell Thursday afternoon.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Sparks High sisters, sophomore Jackie Mendoza (being held) and senior Jessica Mendoza (20), celebrate Jackie’s first-half goal during the Railroaders’ 2-1 win over Whittell Thursday afternoon.
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The Sparks Railroaders kept their playoff hopes alive by capturing a 2-1 home win over Whittell in girls prep soccer action Thursday afternoon.

“We really needed this to stay alive in the playoff race and they're a Lake school so we'll take it,” Sparks coach Jerry Miller said. “Wins against Lake schools are hard to come by. We beat them by forfeit last year, but it's the first time we've beaten them on the field in four years.”

The Sparks offense revolved around the Mendoza sisters act. The sisters accounted for all the SHS offense in the local club's 3A North, Tahoe League win.

In the 29th minute, Sparks High's sophomore forward, Jackie Mendoza, buried a deep shot from beyond Whittell's 18-yard defensive box, putting the Railroaders ahead 1-0. Her senior sister, Jessica Mendoza, gave away the assist.

Sparks (5-6, 2-4) forged ahead 2-0 when Jessica Mendoza found the net for Sparks on a penalty kick goal at the 65-minute mark.

The goals were a welcome sight for Sparks, which had not scored in its previous three matches.

“In practice, we've been working on our attack and getting better penetration,” Miller said. “We've been kind of a counter attack team all year and that's a risky way to play. We need a little more possession.”

Whittell (7-4-2, 0-4-2), of Stateline, tallied its lone goal when senior midfielder Sammy Brumbach scored in the 71st minute.

Whittell got off 16 shots, 11 in the second half, compared to the 13 of Sparks but managed just the one goal by Brumbach.

“We got a little sloppy at the end. They outplayed us in the second half,” Miller said. “This keeps us alive, but we've got a lot of must-wins now.”

Sparks returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Dayton at 2 p.m.

- BOYS -

•Sparks got back in the win column after back-to-back losses to Truckee and South Tahoe. The Railroaders romped over Whittell Tuesday, handing the visiting Warriors a 6-1 defeat.

The host Railroaders scored in the first minute of play and were never threatened. Hector Hernandez had that initial goal for Sparks thanks to an assist from Kevin Partida. Eleven minutes later, Sparks was up 2-0 when Partida gave away another assist, his time on a Marco Pintor goal.

At the 16-minute mark, Sparks made it 3-0 when Vincente Cervantes scored off an Eric Ojeda assist. The SHS scoring parade continued in the final five minutes of the firs half. Partida tallied a goal of his own on an Edgar Casillas assist in the 35th minute. Then, just seconds before halftime Pintor scored again with an assist from Cervantes, leaving the scoreboard to read 5-0 at the intermission.

The Railroaders' final score came in the 45th minute when Pinto scored his third goal for a hat trick. Ojeda had the assist.

“Everyone played unselfish,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “Once we got on the scoring wagon, everybody got on board. We're getting better each and every week. It was nice to get on the winning side again.”

Sparks (7-3-1, 3-2-1) plays again Tuesday in a home match against Dayton at 4 p.m.
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