Things started off tough for the White Pine High School Ladycat soccer team Friday, long before they reached their destination of North Tahoe.
“The bus broke down on the trip up their, and the girls had to wait three hours before the next one arrived,” head coach Tylar Laity said.
But the long trip was only the start of what would turn into a “heart-breaking” 1-0 loss against the Lakers. After a back and fourth first half concluded tied at 0-0, Laity told his team they needed to help the goalie Hannah Barber out by by reversing the ball before the Lakers could get shots on goal. Barber recorded 36 saves in the game, with more than half of them coming in the first half. It was a season best performance from the goalkeeper, Laity said.
“Hanna did an amazing job. She was a beast in the game. I told the team at halftime that We can’t expect her to make 20 saves each half for us, but she almost did anyway. It was definitely the best goalkeeping I’ve seen from our team this year so far,” he continued.
But it ultimately wasn’t enough, as the Ladycats struggled to break through the North Tahoe defense.
“The defense played really strong. We had our chances on offense but just couldn’t get it done,” the coach said.
Things didn’t improve with the next day with the Ladycats falling to Incline 7-1. Laity said that the close but exhausting game the day before, mixed with the team’s second 10-hour bus ride of the weekend and playing in the rain led to a disappointing performance against the Highlanders on Saturday.
“Between waiting for the game on Friday, losing in a heartbreaker the way we did, then having to get on another 10 hour bus ride only to play in the rain the next day, I can understand why we came out flat in the first half against Incline,” Laity said.
Five of Incline’s seven total goals against the Ladycats came in the first half. The coach said he saw a better effort out of his team in the second half, including scoring the first goal of the second half to bring the score to 5-1, but the team couldn’t dig themselves out of the deep hole and missed some opportunities to to turn the momentum around in the game.
“It was a long, wild weekend,” the coach said.
The Ladycats still have a chance to make the post season though, needing to win both road games this weekend, against Pershing County and Battle Mountain, two teams they have already beaten once this season.
“We don’t have time to dwell on the losses because this weekend’s games are so important. We know that just because we’ve beaten them already doesn’t mean it will be a guaranteed victory this time, so I’m just trying to get the team to put last weekend behind them and be focused,” Laity said.
Winning both games would guarantee the team the number four spot in the divisional playoffs. The Ladycats will play at Pershing on Friday at 3 p.m. and at Battle Mountain on Saturday at 11 a.m.