The Tahoe World boasted last week “Third time’s a charm” in reference to North Tahoe’s win over Truckee in the Northern 3A championship game Nov. 9.
Maybe. But the fourth was the punishment for that charm and the state championship was won by Truckee, again, as the Wolverines beat their rival 3-1 Saturday in Las Vegas.
The state title is Truckee’s fifth in seven years, coach Kyle Adams’ first and his first Coach of the Year award for the Lake Division.
“Kyle did a great job of coaching this season, considering everything he took over,” midfielder Jaimee Froelich said. “He and his wife Linda did a great job.”
But Adams really won’t take the credit.
“It was a lot of fun,” Adams said. “It was a big relief for everyone involved. They earned it. They played well.”
The fun started on Friday night with a 1-0 win against the number one seed from Southern 3A Boulder City.
“They didn’t play too well Friday night because they were trying too hard,” Adams said. “Boulder City was tougher than everyone thought they would be.
“We weren’t really expecting that good of a game from them.”
But despite the surprise competition, the Wolverines kept charge of the match, led by the only goal, scored by captain Kristine Trudeau.
“We didn’t know how they (Boulder City) were going to play,” Trudeau said. “We always come into a game the first 10, 15 minutes real flat, not sure what we’re going to do.”
Another game factor is the debate about having Truckee and North Tahoe, the two California schools, play Nevada 3A ball.
“Boulder City was kind of a shock, because I don’t think our team realized how much Boulder City wanted it,” Jaimee Froelich. “Two California teams always play for it. (Boulder City) really wanted it.
“I don’t think anyone thought we were just going to walk on the field and win.”
Then Saturday came, an opportunity to get back at North Tahoe for causing the only blemish on Truckee’s 19-1 overall record. North Tahoe beat the Meadows 5-0 in their semi-final match-up the previous night with the second seed from Southern 3A. But revenge wasn’t going to be too easy for Truckee.
“It was just strap’em up and go,” Adams said. “That 3-1 was misleading. It was like the first game (on Oct. 2), it was real close. We were only up 1-0 at the half.”
Finally Truckee landed a headshot from Nicole Cardinali to go up a goal.
“You could see the girls get a little deflated when that happened,” Adams said.
Then less than two minutes later, Rachel Theis found a hole and punched in the third goal and all of the air bowing in the Lakers’ sail just disappeared.
“Storybook season for me,” Adams said. “When I volunteered for the job, that wasn’t on my mind at all. The only thing I was trying to do, was get them back to the title game. All I can do is put them in the position to play.
“They’ve played with pain, they’ve played with injuries, I can’t say enough about the seniors of the team.”
Defender Kelsey Fisher, who is sharing co-MVP honors for the Lake Division with Addie Boyd of North Tahoe, led the post-season, as much of the regular season.
“I was surprised, because normally they don’t give it to a defender at all,” Fisher said. “They normally give it to midfielders because they tend to play the whole field and are more multi-talented than defenders who are just kind of locked into one kind of play.”
Fisher is hoping to play soccer in college and is seeing interest from Pepperdine University.
“She’s the rock back there. Kelsey is really the glue for the whole thing,” Adams said. “The girls from other teams know of her and respect her and know that she’s coming out playing hard. Nothing’s going to come easy when they see her back there.
“It’s a huge psychological advantage for us.”
Froelich said that Fisher dominated the field.
“She saved our butt a lot this season, so she definitely deserved it,” Froelich said.
Truckee’s goalie got credit for strong play.
“Emily Griesmer had an awesome game,” Adams said. “She’s the best keeper to be found in any league.”
Trudeau, Froelich and defensive backs Michelle Austin and Fisher all made First-Team Northern 3A Lake division.
Cardinali, midfielders Caitlin Holman and Theis, defensive backs Natalie Milligan and Heidi Andresen and Griesmer all made Second Team.
Forward Jenna Lowrance, midfielder Camille Gannam, defensive back Chelsea Tollison and Jessie Kautz in utility all received honorable mention.
Statistically, the Wolverines dominated everyone. In their 19 wins and one loss, they scored 125 goals and allowed only nine.
Individually, Trudeau led with 28 goals along with five assists, Jenna Lowrance with 16 goals, 11 assists, Jessie Kautz with 13 goals and four assists and Cardinali with 10 goals and seven assists. Griesmer finished with 12 shutouts at goalie, partially in thanks to Fisher’s play.
Another team achievement is the Academic State Soccer Champions with a cumulative GPA of 3.74. Eight girls have 4.0 GPA’s.