Jim Vallett, for the Fernley Reporter
On an absolutely perfect autumn day at Fernley High School last Friday, the Fernley girls soccer team defeated Whittell by the final score of 3-2.
In the game’s 14th minute, Cassandra Taylor drove the ball low into the net to give the Vaqueros a 1-0 lead.
Fernley’s goalkeeper, Jacqueline Torres kept the score that way with a big save on a Whittell breakaway in the game’s 20th minute, but for the most part the game was played at a fairly slow pace in the middle of the field.
In the game’s 27th minute, Taylor somehow sidekicked a ball that was three feet in the air up and over the Warriors’ goalkeeper to make the score 2-0 in favor of the black-clad home team.
In the last few minutes of the first half, a couple of Whittell forwards became much more aggressive and the pace and intensity of the match increased perceptively. This aggressiveness paid off in the form of scoring shots and opportunities for the visitors, but Torres and the other Fernley defenders held off the attacks and the first half ended with coach Tammi Valentine’s Vaqueros leading 2-0.
In the second half, Fernley matched the increased intensity of the Warriors and both sides aggressively pushed each advantage gained. But in the 30th minute, a speedy Whittell player beat Torres for the first time to make the score 2-1. This goal seemed to inspire the Warriors, and 15 minutes later the white-uniformed visitors scored again to tie the game at 2-2.
At this point, it seemed that all the momentum was with the visitors, but the Vaqueros reacted very well and substantially picked up their game. The next ten minutes were very exciting with both teams flying up and down the field and being rewarded with many scoring chances. With five minutes showing on the clock, Mikayla Kibbe scored on a rocket free kick from 42 yards out to give Fernley a 3-2 lead.
To the credit of the Whittell Warriors, they did not quit after Kibbe’s goal. In the final five minutes of the game, Whittell buzzed the Fernley net and peppered Torres with shots, but a combination of strong defense, Torres, and a couple of wide shots led to the game ending with the Vaqueros holding on for a 3-2 win.
The Vaqueros followed up their exciting win on Friday with a 1-1 tie at Dayton on Saturday.
liliana Rodarte scored Fernley’s goal, assisted by Taylor, while Dayton’s goal was scored by Zolet Miklich from an assist by Josie Lieb, both in the second half.
Fernley enters Friday’s game at Yerington in third place in the Northern 3A ‘B’ League with a 6-2-2 record. Yerington is second at 8-2-1. White Pine leads the league at 11-1.
The Vaqueros next play at Yerington Thursday at 4 p.m.