SPARKS - The Reno High boys soccer team's improbable postseason run ended on Friday as Chaparral beat the Huskies 3-0 in the NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Championship semifinals on Friday at Reed High.
Daniel Nilsmo scored a pair of first-half goals while Omar Bywater converted a penalty kick in the 63rd minute for the Cowboys. Chaparral (18-1-1) advances to today's championship game against Green Valley.
The Gators overcame Joe Zaher's penalty kick in the first half to come back for a 4-2 win over Bishop Gorman in the other semifinal. Today's championship game is scheduled for noon at Reed.
"I knew we had a chance to get here (state), but I was disappointed with how we started the game," said Husky coach Rob Moreland.
Reno (13-4-2) needed two overtime victories in the Northern 4A Regional playoffs, including a dramatic shootout victory over defending state champion Reed in the finals. The Huskies were the Sierra League's No. 3 seed behind South Tahoe and Carson heading into the regional playoffs.
But against Chaparral, Reno faced a team that was simply too strong. Still, the Huskies nearly made a game of it in the second half. Jorge Cubero exposed the Cowboys' defense on several occasions, but a goal never came out of it.
Moreland thought his team made it 2-1 midway through the second half when Ricky Ramirez' cross found a wide open Chris Madsen, who brought the ball down and placed it into the net. But Madsen was called offside. Kavan Lynn and Cubero each missed point blank shots inside the box later in the half.
"They scored, we didn't," Moreland said. "We had our chances, we just didn't finish. Our seniors should've stepped up a little bit more."
Then in the 63rd minute, Mario Michel was taken down in the box, which set up Bywater's penalty kick. Cowboy coach Dan Schell said he knew little about the Huskies coming into game, but heard from several coaches that they had good speed.
"It's always tough when you play a team you're not used to," Schell said. "They had a few kids we were worried about. But we didn't want to worry too much about any one player because then you don't play your game."
Last weekend, Green Valley beat Chaparral in the Sunset Regional championship game, 1-0. It was the first loss of the season for the Cowboys. In the regular season, the two teams tied 2-2. The Gators have won two of the past four 4A state championships.