Face South Tahoe in first-round playoff game Thursday
Jim Vallet, for the Fernley Reporter
The Fernley girls soccer team concluded their regular season with a tough 2-1 loss home field at the hands of Yerington on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
The Vaqueros ended the regular season in third place in the Northern 3A League B and will face South Tahoe, the No. 1 seed from League A in a first-round playoff game at 1 p.m. Thursday in Fallon.
On a chilly fall night with what little wind there was offering no assistance to either side, coach Tammi Valentine’s black-clad charges began the contest with orange ribbons in their hair and ending the season on a high note in their heads. The Vaqueros also had the motivation of sending their five senior teammates off with a senior night win.
The Yerington Lions were not in a giving mood, however, and in spite of several good Vaqueros’ offensive chances early for Cassandra Taylor, Ellie Bassett, and Alanna McGrath neither team was able to score early.
In the game’s 16th minute, Deana Espinoza managed to get through a clutter in front of the Lions’ net and get her foot on a low shot that beat the Lions’ goalkeeper on her right side to make the score 1-0 for the home team.
The rest of the first half was back and forth as both teams had their chances. The Vaquero defense, led by Makayla Kibbe, Samantha Funk, Emma Parson, Evven Johnson, and goalkeeper Jacqueline Torres were very good at this point at turning away many fast breaks by the speedy Lions’ forwards, and the first half ended with Fernley leading by a 1-0 score.
In the second half, the Lions continued to attack by taking long shots with the hope of a misplay that one of their quick strikers could turn into a good opportunity, and that strategy worked when Yerington scored in the game’s 47th minute to tie the score at 1-1.
The game tying goal increased the intensity by quite a bit as both teams moved the ball up and down the field and were rewarded with many good chances for both sides. For the Vaqueros, Aurora Parsons in particular made several good rushes, but the ball just was not bouncing the Vaqueros’ way and the score remained tied when the game entered the final two minutes. With the scoreboard showing two minutes, one of the very quick Yerington forwards was able to get behind the Fernley defense and beat Torres low and that was the difference as the game ended with Yerington on top, 2-1.
Before the game in a very nice ceremony, the Vaqueros honored their five seniors by introducing and sharing with all who attended some biographical information on each. Deana Espinoza, Cassandra Taylor, Alanna McGrath, Emma Parsons, and Melanie Frias Navarro and at least family member proudly, but sadly, received recognition, a big individual picture of themselves, and hugs for their contributions to Fernley soccer and their plans for the future.